Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill

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


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.


The Minister must be satisfied that the consumer information standard


meets the purpose of this Act; and


defines and applies to regulated foods; and


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


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


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


The regulated foods must include food that


is either


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


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


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


cured pork; and


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


is not supplied, or offered or advertised for supply,


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


at a fundraising event; and


is packaged or unpackaged.


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


would be unduly onerous; or


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


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).


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.


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of this section continue to apply even if the deadline in subsection (6) has passed or this section has been repealed by section 6.


To avoid doubt,


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


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


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


may be amended or repealed later.