Announced in July 2015, Australia’s new proposed country-of-origin labels have been objected by NZ Ministry of Primary Industries, claiming that they might have a negative impact on Kiwi food producers.
Whilst New Zealand was exempt from mandatory labelling requirements in Australia, by removing the Standard 1.2.11 in the Australia New Zealand Standards Code this exemption would be abolished, requiring all food sold across the Tasman to include a labelling statement identifying its origin.
Australian Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, has downplayed New Zealand’s concerns. Meanwhile, in Australia, the labelling reforms have been criticised for being too mild by Ausveg, the leading horticultural body representing horticulture growers, and consumer advocacy group Choice. Both groups argued that listing the origin would only be optional for many important ingredients coming from overseas.
Members of the WTO will have until February 5th to submit their feedback on the proposed rules.