Wednesday, 10 July 2024 13:55

Call to standardise vegetarian and vegan product labelling

Written by  Staff Reporters
A petition has been launched calling on the government to implement new product labelling legislation. A petition has been launched calling on the government to implement new product labelling legislation.

The New Zealand Vegetarian Society and the Vegan Society of Aotearoa have launched a petition to advocate for clear and standardised labelling for vegetarian and vegan products in New Zealand.

The petition calls on the government to implement legislation that ensures consumers can make informed choices about the products they purchase.

According to the two organisations, as the use of ambiguous terms – such as “plant-based” or “less dairy” – grows, it is becoming increasingly difficult for consumers to understand what is in their food without thoroughly reading the ingredient list.

They claim that this lack of clarity is of particular concern to those who have allergies or other dietary requirements – such as Jewish and Muslim people, vegans and vegetarians.

Ina Babic, spokesperson for the NZ Vegetarian Society (NZVS), says that clear and honest labelling is not only a matter of consumer rights, but a step towards a more transparent and ethical food industry

“The NZVS also offers Vegan certification and Vegetarian Approval for products, which consumers should look out for,” Babic says.

“With the current lack of legislation, these trademarks provide much-needed assurance that products meet strict criteria, helping to protect consumers from misleading labels.”

Meanwhile, Claire Insley, media spokesperson for the Vegan Society of Aotearoa, says her organisation consistently receives calls and emails from consumers regarding the issue of product labelling.

“We have written to the Food Standards Authority, the Ministry of [sic] Primary Industries, and the Commerce Commission, to no avail,” Insley says.

“It is not just vegans who need to avoid certain foods; this is also a problem for people who cannot read English very well and buy things based on pictures on the product,” she adds.

The two organisations want to see clear, standardized food labelling in order to enable consumers to make choices that align with their dietary preferences and/or requirements.

They say the initiative is crucial for protecting consumer rights and promoting transparency in the food industry.

Featured

Farmers back ACT MP's bill

ACT MP and Northland dairy farmer Mark Cameron is lodging a new member’s bill that would prevent regional and district councils from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

Calls for more support for vets, nurses

The animal health sector needs to change to keep up with the times, according to the discussion at a breakfast event hosted by Boehringer Ingelheim at the NZ Vet Association and NZ Veterinary Nursing Association conference in Christchurch recently.

National

Govt unveils climate strategy

The Government has launched its new Climate Strategy, which it says is a comprehensive and ambitious plan to reduce the…

Machinery & Products

More efficient jumbo wagons

In a move that will be welcomed by many, Austrian manufacturer Pottinger appears to be following a trend of bringing…

Fieldays' top young innovator

Growing up on a South Waikato sheep and beef farm, Penny Ranger has firsthand experience on the day-to-day challenges.

Claas completes 500,000th machine

Claas is celebrating half a million combine harvesters built since 1936, marking the occasion by building anniversary machines from the…

Donated tractors welcome news

When Cyclone Gabrielle hit in February 2023, it left an estimated $13.5 billion worth of damage across New Zealand.

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Fieldays focused

OPINION: Your old mate had a wee crack at Fieldays recently for the perception it was more focused on quantity…

'Woke madness'

OPINION: Real estate agent Janet Dickson's court case, following her refusal to complete a compulsory Māori culture course, is being watched…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter