[18 July/ Farmers Weekly]

New Zealand meat and dairy exporters have been fearing a proposed trial in France which could see country of origin labels required for prepared food products. The two year trial still needed to gain final government approval, but could be enforced from 1 January. Dairy Companies Association Chief Executive, Kimberly Crewther said the extra compliance could encourage processors to use local products rather than imported products. Ms Crewther added that the association opposed the labelling requirement as it created negative perceptions around imported products which was not backed up by New Zealand’s safety and quality parameters. Beef + Lamb New Zealand Trade Policy Manager, Ben O’Brien said the organisation did not believe country of origin labelling would have any major implications for the New Zealand red meat sector.