From 12 November 2021, businesses must disclose where certain fresh and thawed food comes from that they supply, offer, or advertise for supply to consumers in New Zealand.
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.
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 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.
3 Dec 2018
Parliament decides to regulate country of origin food labelling.
9 Dec 2019
Draft Regulations released by Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for public consultation.
Regulations apply to certain fresh and thawed food.
12 May 2023
Regulations apply to certain frozen food.
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.
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.
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