Thursday, February 02, 2012

COOL ( Country of Origin labelling )

We are what we eat. Right? This morning it was damp first thing so I was in the kitchen baking lavosh. ( using Annabel Langbein's recipe ) Where did the ingredients come from? The flour is from Australia ( I knew that -  most of our flour is from there ) the sesame seeds are organic from Ceres sourced from India the label says. ( thats' okay we don't grow sesame seeds here ) The water was from the tap and the olive oil was from a lovely bottle of cold press  Koroneiki ( from the far north of NZ given to us as a gift. - Thanks Pam ) and the pinch of salt was from NZ.
 The lavosh turned out crisp and lovely; I tried them  with a slice of tomato from the garden for with my morning coffee. SO why am I on about this?

 I read in the " NZ Farmers Weekly, " ( no apostrophe I notice )  that comes free to our mail box an article written by Alan Emerson about New Zealand brands we used to trust ( Heinz Wattie and McCain ) are mixing vegetables and fruit from overseas with New Zealand produce and calling it Made in New Zealand.
 Okay so what's wrong with that? A lot!
       We are exporters ourselves so know quite a bit about what is and isn't allowed. We have strict rules about what spray or products we are allowed to use if we are going to export kiwifruit or avocados.( and it has to be labelled ) Why therefore are we in New Zealand importing fruit and veges from China, South America, USA and Vietnam, into the country that has been sprayed with chemicals we are not allowed to use here.( food tested had one of 4 chemicals prohibited here. ) Last year NZ imported $700 million of fresh fruit and veges . $63 million from China -( garlic, pears and  grapes ) .  Supermarkets are now labelling ( mostly ) where fresh fruit and vegetables come from.
        What is astounding and I agree with Alan Emerson here is tinned and frozen vegetables and fruit can just be labelled Made in New Zealand and have ingredient from anywhere in it cause it was mixed and canned or frozen here in NZ.
 Apparently Talleys are the only frozen veges that are grown in NZ.     PRODUCT of  NEW ZEALAND is what the label has to say to tell us it was grown in New Zealand.
   More and more food from other places are being shared around the world because of free trade agreements.   White ware; clothes; shoes and  wine already have COOL labelling. Time for all our food products to be labelled with the truth, so we the consumers can have the right to know and choose for ourselves.
    It is such a good reason to grow just as much of our own fresh fruit, nuts and vegetables as we possibly can.
 There are 7000 growers of fresh fruit and vegetables in New Zealand, many of them selling their produce at a loss - that can't last for long can it?  Supermarkets are apparently still adding 100% mark up and in rare cases 800%.   Can that be true?  If it is, no wonder Local and Village / Farmers' Markets are proving to be so popular.
 Do you have an opinion about any of this?


Deb said...

Thats terrible about the fruit and veg Allie. I know that Talleys will be our choice now when buying frozen. Other than that fresh of course.

Jennifer said...

Ali, the same thing is happening here too. At least now shops are made to label the country of origin on fruits and vegies, so we know - for example - those oranges on the middle shelf come from Australia, but the grapefruit next to them come from USA.

Meggie said...

I get angry about this. I agree with Jennifer, it is changing here, but I note the same thing about a product that has been packaged in Australia, even though the product might be from India or China.
I feel sorry for the Kiwi tomato growers as there is a huge complex about to open producing tomatoes, down in Sydney, and they proudly claimed "We won't have to import NZ tomatoes!" Grrrrr.

Gina E. said...

Hi Allie,
I was just browsing through the blogs on my IE Favourites list (I don't do it very often!) to see who was still blogging, and I got to your blog. Kept reading! so you'll stay on my list:-)
Agree with all you and the other comments have said. I am very aware of product labelling and will only buy local fresh produce in season, and canned products that originated in Aust. or NZ. It is a real guessing game, although Choice consumers mag. are doing heaps to make the big guys honest about their labels.

Anonymous said...

Labelling, It's very imp.. I don't look at stuff that isn't labelled well..