The requirement to disclose only applies to cured pork products and single-ingredient fruit, vegetable, fish, seafood, and meat that is no more than minimally processed. It does not apply to food sold for fundraising or food that is intended for immediate consumption (for example, at restaurants, takeaway shops etc).

From 12 May 2023, the Regulations will also apply to frozen food in the above categories.

We encourage you to read the Consumer Information Standards (Origin of Food) Regulations 2021 and think about how they may apply to you or your business.


How and where to disclose origin information for food

How to disclose

The Regulations do not prescribe exactly how to disclose, except that:

  • disclosure must be ‘clear and legible text in English or Māori’, and
  • disclosure must inform consumers about the country or ocean where the food was grown, raised, harvested or caught.

Where to disclose

The Regulations require disclosure in one of the following ways:

  • on the food item
  • on packaging
  • on signage located next to the food item, or
  • in a similar way.

When a regulated food item is offered or advertised then the Regulations require that the origin information be disclosed as part of the offer or advertisement.

The key point is that there must be a clear connection between the disclosure and the food item. We encourage you to read the specific Regulation about how information must be disclosed.


The Commission’s Guidance on the Regulations

The Commission is developing guidance for businesses on the new Consumer Information Standards (Origin of Food) Regulations 2021. We have completed consultation with a wide range of key industry participants and received valuable feedback. We are currently assessing the feedback and will use it to inform the final version of our guidance.  We anticipate that our guidance will be published in October 2021.

The guidance we are preparing will:

  • tell businesses the types of food the Regulations include, and
  • outline what businesses need to do to comply with the Regulations.

Timeline

3 Dec 2018Parliament decides to regulate country of origin food labelling.
9 Dec 2019Draft Regulations released by Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for public consultation.
10 Feb 2020Consultation on draft Regulations closed.
10 May 2021

Consumer Information Standards (Origin of Food) Regulations 2021 were made and published.

12 Nov 2021Regulations apply to certain fresh and thawed food.
12 May 2023Regulations apply to certain frozen food.

Legal advice

If you are unsure about how the Regulations affect your business, we suggest you obtain independent legal advice.  As an enforcement agency, the Commission cannot provide legal advice to individuals or businesses.


Other sources of information

Some industry bodies and associations may provide guidance or information for their members.  If you are a member of a trade body or association, you may wish to ask them what support is available.


Enforcement

As with most other laws and regulations that apply to you or your business, traders are responsible to ensure their own compliance with the Consumer Information Standards (Origin of Food) Regulations 2021.

The Commission can enforce compliance with the Regulations under the Fair Trading Act 1986 by investigating alleged breaches and taking appropriate enforcement action (as required).  You can read about our enforcement criteria, as well as how we investigate and enforce regulations in our investigation guidelines.


Updates

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