Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Act 2018

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Act 2018

Public Act
 
2018 No 52
Date of assent
 
3 December 2018
Commencement
 
see section 2

The Parliament of New Zealand enacts as follows:

1 Title

This Act is the Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Act 2018.

2 Commencement

This Act comes into force on the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.

3 Purpose

The purpose of this Act is to provide for a simple mandatory system in New Zealand that provides consumers with accurate information about the country or place of origin of certain foods to enable informed decisions about purchasing the food.

4 Act binds the Crown

This Act binds the Crown.

5 New consumer information standard: country of origin of regulated foods

(1)

The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs must recommend the making of regulations under section 27 of the Fair Trading Act 1986 prescribing a consumer information standard for the disclosure of a regulated food’s country or place of origin.

(2)

The Minister must be satisfied that the consumer information standard—

(a)

meets the purpose of this Act; and

(b)

defines and applies to regulated foods; and

(c)

requires a regulated food’s country or place of origin to be disclosed by reference to where the food was grown or something similar (for example, where it was harvested, caught, or raised, but not where it was merely packaged, manufactured, or processed); and

(d)

commences 6 months after the date of its notification in the Gazette; and

(e)

does not apply to frozen food until 18 months after the commencement of the standard.

(3)

The regulated foods must include food that—

(a)

is either—

(i)

only 1 type of fruit, vegetable, meat, fish, or seafood that—

(A)

is fresh (even if previously frozen) or frozen and is not, for example, dried, cured, or pickled; and

(B)

is no more than minimally processed (for example, by being cut, minced, filleted, or surface treated); or

(ii)

cured pork; and

(b)

is supplied, or offered or advertised for supply, at retail, including on an Internet site; and

(c)

is not supplied, or offered or advertised for supply,—

(i)

by any of the following for immediate consumption: a restaurant, cafeteria, takeaway shop, canteen, or similar place, or a caterer; or

(ii)

at a fundraising event; and

(d)

is packaged or unpackaged.

(4)

However, the consumer information standard may exclude any food from being a regulated food if the Minister considers that requiring the food to comply with the standard—

(a)

would be unduly onerous; or

(b)

would not help consumers to make informed decisions about purchasing the food.

(5)

The food that is excluded may be defined in any way (for example, as a food that is supplied, or offered or advertised for supply, in specified circumstances).

(6)

The Minister must make the recommendation as soon as practicable after the commencement of this Act, but no later than 18 months after its commencement.

(7)

The requirements of this section continue to apply even if the deadline in subsection (6) has passed or this section has been repealed by section 6.

(8)

To avoid doubt,—

(a)

the Minister may satisfy this section by recommending regulations that amend other regulations; and

(b)

this section does not limit section 27 of the Fair Trading Act 1986, so that the regulations recommended by the Minister to satisfy this section—

(i)

may prescribe a consumer information standard that includes other food as a regulated food or includes other matters; and

(ii)

may be amended or repealed later.

6 Repeal of this Act

This Act is repealed 18 months after its commencement.

Legislative history

8 December 2016

Introduction (Bill 231–1)

12 April 2017

First reading and referral to Primary Production Committee

23 August 2018

Reported from Primary Production Committee (Bill 231–2)

17 October 2018

Second reading

31 October 2018

Committee of the whole House

28 November 2018

Third reading

3 December 2018

Royal assent

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment.