Chinese vegetable 'Made in NZ' claim rubbished

MICHAEL FIELD AND NICOLE PRYOR
Last updated 19:12 19/02/2013

Relevant offers

National News

NZ improves in international rankings for reading, maths, and science Boyfriend's bad luck charm tag riles up Khloe Kardashian Truck driver thrown 40 metres after crash into tree Sherri Papini and her family quit hometown leaving their family pets behind Rock climber suffers back injuries after 14 metre fall near Takaka Sad cheers for drinkers as research finds alcohol interferes with heart's rhythm Route 66 plays America the Beautiful as long as you stick to the speed limit Wellington bus users given $400,000 ratepayer subsidy without any council vote 5.1 earthquake hits Colombia Remembering loved ones at Christmas

‘‘Protectionist scare-mongering’’ is behind a claim that frozen Chinese vegetables are being sold as ‘‘Made in New Zealand" in Australia, Horticulture New Zealand says.

Hugh Gurney, spokesman from Australian vegetable industry group AUSVEG, today told Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s AM programme produce could leave China as a frozen product, be packaged or modified in New Zealand, and then sent on to Australia under the labelling “Made in New Zealand from local and imported ingredients”.

"Often this produce from China is actually grown in conditions which would not be permitted here, so we feel this is quite a deceptive practice," he told AM.

"This would be mainly frozen products like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and carrots."

But a spokesperson from Horticulture New Zealand said the claims are “ridiculous”.

“This is blatant protectionist scare-mongering. It is just another example of Australian sour grapes,” said chief executive Peter Silcock.

“Australian growers need to stop complaining about competition and start getting better at what they do.”

Silcock said most of the products leaving New Zealand had been grown here, but it was also “entirely legal” for Chinese imports to be exported from New Zealand.

“We could walk through the aisles of any Australian supermarket and find dozens of examples of products which have this labelling, which tells you nothing about the origin of the product,” he said.

“Consumers have to realise there is a huge difference between ‘Made in’ and ‘Product of’.”

He said if consumers did not like the law, they should get their government to change it.

Gurney told Fairfax Media he did not know of any companies in New Zealand that had simply packaged vegetables from China and claimed they were locally grown.

"We aren’t saying it happens all the time, but we are saying it is possible that a loophole does exist, and it can filter down to Australian supermarkets."

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content