NZ Pork welcomes bacon back to the COOF Bill


Cured meats have been reinstated as one of the products covered by the Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill

New Zealand Pork is praising the efforts of the Primary Production Select Committee and, in particular, Greens MP Gareth Hughes in reinstating cured meats as one of the products covered by the Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill.

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In its report to the Parliament, the Primary Production Select Committee recommended cured meats, such as bacon and ham, be included in the Bill – a change from the committee’s interim report, released in mid-July, which saw cured meat products excluded in a ‘stripped-back’ version of the original Bill.

NZ Pork opposed the exclusion of cured meats, as it would not allow consumers to recognise the large volume of imported bacon, ham, and other small goods – up to 85% – sold in the country, which are often marketed as ‘made in New Zealand from imported and local ingredients’.

The organisation, which represents New Zealand’s commercial pig farmers, said the recommendations of the committee are a significant step in recognising local consumers’ demand to know where their food comes from.

NZ Pork chair Eric Roy says the committee’s response shows they are listening to both Kiwi consumers and local farmers.

"The reality for the New Zealand commercial pig farming industry is that they are facing a flood of imported products from more than 25 countries around the world," Eric says.

"Almost 60% of pork products consumed in New Zealand are imported, and for cured meats like bacon, ham, and small goods, the figure is over 80%. The vast majority of these products are imported from countries that use farming practices that would be illegal under New Zealand’s welfare standards.

"Ultimately, New Zealanders need to be able to clearly understand where their food comes from to allow them to make informed decisions about what they buy for their families."

Eric says the industry was particularly grateful for the support of Greens MP Gareth Hughes, sponsor of the Member’s Bill, who has been calling for the inclusion of cured meats in the Bill.

"Mr Hughes has recognised that the New Zealand industry has worked hard to establish high standards of care and high-quality farming practices, which are being undermined by the flood of imports that aren’t required to meet any animal welfare standards," Eric says.

In early August, the MP said, "As we've slowly ratcheted up our animal welfare standards in the pork industry, their sales have declined and we're seeing a massive increase in imports of really low-quality animal welfare pork. That's a double whammy for them."

"We appreciate the significant support of Mr Hughes, as well as that demonstrated by Ministers Hon Damien O’Connor and Kris Faafoi in expressing their desire to ensure the Bill meets the expectations of local consumers," Eric says.

"We look forward to seeing the Bill garner further support from all sides of the House as it proceeds to its second reading."

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