Best-practice advice on palm oil transparency
Environmental and scientific organisations have published a best-practice guidance on how to improve transparency in the palm oil supply chain.
A report by Oxfam, Ceres, Rainforest Alliance, Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), Rainforest Action Network, and the Union of Concerned Scientists offers recommendations for growers, processors, traders, manufacturers and retailers.Read More
NZ gets Factory of the Year competition
30 January 2017
FGC is partnering with global management consultancy firm A.T. Kearney to bring the Factory of the Year competition to New Zealand.
The competition is the international standard for measuring operational performance. It has operated in Europe for more than 25 years with participation by hundreds of both multinational and local companies.
Entries are now open, and close on 28 February. Participation is free. It requires an investment of approximately five man days to complete the initial questionnaire.Read More
Tip Top turns 80 and splashes out
Congratulations to Tip Top on turning 80 years old this month.
From humble beginnings in an ice cream parlour in Wellington’s Manners St in 1936, the brand is now one of New Zealand’s recognisable and loved.
And to celebrate, they are the ones giving away the presents, giving away 80,000 ice creams every month and making all their iconic Trumpets just $2 right through summer.Read More
Second diversity workshop popular
26 October 2016
FGC’s second workshop on Diversity in FMCG, held in Auckland today, was another well-attended event. The workshops are aimed at encouraging more women to take on higher FMCG leadership roles in New Zealand grocery.Read More
Sustainability teams lead to waste, water, energy savings
19 October 2016
Establishing sustainability teams at all Inghams Enterprises’ sites across New Zealand has resulted in big savings in waste, water, and energy, says Managing Director Adrian Revell.
In the latest NZ Food and Grocery Council Leaders video he says sustainability teams at every one of the company’s sites – feed mills, hatcheries, farms, and processing plants – have a plan.Read More
Katherine Rich on Advisory Council on Employment of Women
6 October 2016
Katherine Rich has today been announced as one of eight people on a reformed National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women, which will address key issues facing women in work. The Minister for Women, Louise Upston, says the Council will tackle the ongoing barriers to women’s full participation in the workforce.Read More
Spend more time on better, not cheaper, says Sealord
4 October 2016
New Zealand FMCG companies need to spend more time doing better, not cheaper, and focusing around innovation and premiumisation, says Sealord Group General Manager NZ Stuart Yorston in an FGC video interview on sustainability through innovation.
NZ collaboration in Asia ‘hugely important’
29 September 2016
Collaboration between New Zealand companies working in the export markets of Asia is hugely important, says Prolife Foods CEO Andrew Smith.
In a NZ Food and Grocery Council video interview on exporting opportunities within food and beverage, he says that while New Zealand companies compete “really strongly” in the domestic market they should collaborate when fighting to get into markets in Asia.Read More
Claims scientists paid off ‘bid to rewrite history’
20 September 2016
FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich has hit out at an analysis of historical sugar industry documents published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
She writes in Food Navigator-Asia that the analysis is an attempt to rewrite history and to create a conspiracy where none exists.Read More
FMCG careers expo reaps rewards
The food and grocery industry is already benefitting from its careers expo held earlier this year.
FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich says several FMCG companies have taken on graduates as a result of contact made at the expo.Read More
Industry honours Wayne Sands
5 September 2016
The food and grocery industry honoured a 40-year stalwart at the weekend.
Wayne Sands was presented with a Lifetime Achiever Award at the 2016 Grocery Charity Ball in Auckland. He started working in Woolworth’s Variety Stores before eventually founding and running sales business Twin Agencies that now has a team of 200 representing market leaders that have a combined annual sales turnover of close to $200 million.Read More
Unilever publishes Sustainable Living Plan update
9 August 2016
Unilever has published its 5-year progress report on its Sustainable Living Plan in Australia and New Zealand. It gives a snapshot of the big gains the company has made around the world in its bid to achieve a zero carbon, zero poverty world, and shows how sustainability is helping drive growth, cut costs, mitigate risks and build trust with consumers and the community as a whole.
The report, which is the halfway point of the company’s sustainable growth journey, backs up its aim of “making sustainable living commonplace”.Read More
Gotta hand it to the Aussies
Australian researchers have developed a portable and easy-to-use method to help people estimate portion size using only their hands.
Claiming to be the first-ever study to assess the accuracy of hand-based methods for measuring food portions, finger width was used as a “ruler” to gauge the dimensions of foods and glasses of liquids.Read More
DB issues video on sustainability
22 June 2016
FGC member DB has put together a short video to go with its 2015 sustainability report – the company’s second. The video features Managing Director Andy Routley, who starts by talking about why “doing the right thing” around sustainability is so important to their stakeholders, customers, partners, and staff.Read More
US dietary guidelines come under fire
The highly anticipated 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans have come under fire since they were released in the first week of January.
Nutrition experts say that while there were useful updates from the previous (2010) guidelines, such as a specific limit on sugar intake to less than 10% of calories, a lot of the recommendations of the Scientific Advisory Committee were not included. Others said Americans needed more forceful messagesRead More
Eating and activity guidelines for NZ adults
28 October 2015
The Government has announced new eating and activity guidelines for adults.
Associate Health Minister Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga said the guidelines combine the Ministry of Health’s updated nutrition and physical activity advice into one document for the first time.
Although primarily focused on adults, the advice complements the Government’s recently announced package of initiatives aimed at reducing childhood obesity in New Zealand, Mr Lotu-Iiga says.Read More
Baking, snacks industry must innovate to feed hungrier world
29 October 2015
The world’s baking and snacks industry must explore innovations in grains to meet the challenges of a growing population, according to PepsiCo's global R&D head.Read More
Policy will wipe out 80% of Chinese infant formula
China’s tough “one brand, one formulation” policy for its infant formula market will eliminate over 80% of domestic products on sale, according to government calculations.Read More
Aussies shop around for groceries, research shows
28 September 2015
Australians like to shop around when it comes to groceries. Roy Morgan Research reveals that while most of Australia’s 14.2 million grocery-buyers have a supermarket of preference where they do most of their shopping, a relatively low proportion of them do so exclusively at that chain, Food Navigator Asia reports.Read More
DB uses music to push message
DB has a cool take on promoting a responsible drinking message to young people. It has joined forces with a group of emerging Auckland urban artists and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) to release a single with the message to drink responsibly.Read More
Berkeley soft-drink tax 'not serving its purpose'
25 August 2015
The first-ever US soft-drink tax may not be going as well as expected, according to a recent study by economists.Read More
No problem so no need for mandatory CoOL in NZ
14 August 2015
New Zealand does not need to regulate on country of origin labelling because there is no evidence of a significant problem, says FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich.
She was responding to a media inquiry after the Australian Government announced plans for a new system of country of origin food labels. Their use would initially be voluntary, but manufacturers will be forced to use them from 2016 if the states and territories agree to the proposal.Read More
Latest grocery trends from ECRA Convention
Each year the ECRA Retailer and Supplier Convention brings together leaders from the FMCG industry to examine, discuss and debate current and emerging trends.Read More
How many teaspoons of sugar do we eat?
17 August 2015
New research shows New Zealanders are not consuming as much sugar as is frequently claimed.
The Sugar Research Advisory Service says there are frequent claims in the news media that we’re eating 40 teaspoons a day. But they say national surveys find that the average adult total sugars intake is approximately 28 teaspoons a day (115g) in Australia and 26 teaspoons (109g) in New Zealand – around 20% of total energy.Read More
Nestle initiative furthers industry involvement
FGC member companies are involved in some great initiatives in schools and communities that are aimed at promoting healthy eating and living. They range from sponsoring a wide variety of exercise and healthy-choice education programmes, to supplying healthy breakfasts and lunches to many schools.
One of the latest is a great initiative being run by Nestle.Read More
Sugar tax would have to be enormous to work
A British Medical Journal discussion on pro’s and con’s of a sugar tax provides a balanced discussion, but it’s clear that such taxes would have to be enormous to have an effect.
The discussion, “Could a sugar tax help obesity?”, featured Adjunct Professor Sirpa Sarlio-Lahteenkorva, a ministerial adviser in Finland’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, and Jack Winkler, Emeritus Professor of Nurition Policy at London Metropolitan University.Read More
Reality check on call by academics for tax on food
When Benjamin Franklin said there are “only two things certain in life: death and taxes” he was spot on. After all, times were much simpler back then.
Fast forward to 2015 and he might be inclined to amend it to something like “death and Auckland University academics coming up with new taxes on everything we eat and drink”.Read More
Rotting teeth issue of poor parenting, says Beverage Council
The issue of young children with rotten teeth raised in the media today by Dr Rob Beaglehole is one of poor parenting – no more and no less, says the NZ Beverage Council. It said parents are, or should be, in complete control of what children of that age eat and drink.Read More
Call for tax on bread, cereal, meat, eggs and milk is lunacy
9 July 2015
A call by Auckland University academics to tax New Zealand families’ staple foods such as bread, milk, eggs and meat is lunacy, says NZ Food and Grocery Council Chief Executive Katherine Rich.Read More
MP’s baby food safety claims couldn’t be further from truth
2 July 2015
An MP's claims that the testing of baby foods in New Zealand was ‘at best, inadequate and, at worst, a sham’, couldn’t be further from the truth, says FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich.
She was commenting on a statement issued by Green MP Steffan Browning, the Green Party spokesman for food safety on a report by the Primary Production Select Committee into allegations that New Zealand baby food contained nearly 800 times more pesticides than baby food in Europe. As expected, the committee found the allegations did not stack up.Read More
Reports of ban on trans fats 'not accurate'
Recent media reports that have given the impression that the United States is “banning” trans fats from the food supply completely are not accurate, says FGC CEO Katherine Rich.
The announcement is about artificial trans fats, not naturally occurring trans fats.Read More
Survey looks at Aussie supermarket moves
10 July 2015
A recent UBS/AFGC survey on Australian supermarkets makes some very interesting predictions on the sector over the Ditch.Read More
Industry Relations Working Group Sets Strategy
FGC’s Industry Relations Working Group has finalised its strategy for the coming year, which has as its objective “suppliers and retailers working together to continuously improve mutual productivity, profit and efficiency.”Read More
FSNI makes wholesale changes
Foodstuffs North Island boss Murray Jordan has issued an update for suppliers on the company’s wholesale strategy.Read More
Great news on for caffeine lovers
There's good news for those of us who enjoy their daily caffeine fix.Read More
Consumer Goods Forum launches Health & Wellness Toolkit
26 June 2015
The Consumer Goods Forum has launched a new Health & Wellness Toolkit and digital platform.
The Toolkit looks to:
- help drive positive action across the industry and around the world
- provide health and wellness ideas with simple and practical “how to” steps for those who want to advance
- demonstrate how forum member companies are active, with each chapter including practical examples from across the industry
- Show industry leadership in health and wellness.
Calls for ECEs to ban unhealthy foods show many out of touch
Recent calls to ban the promotion and sale of unhealthy foods in ECE centres shows how out of touch some people are in the obesity debate, says FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich.
Mrs Rich was commenting on the six policies that attracted the greatest support from a panel of “public health experts” to tackle obesity in young people. The policies included ‘Ensuring schools and ECE centres are free of commercial promotion of unhealthy foods’, and ‘No sales of unhealthy foods in schools and ECE centres.’
“I wonder whether those calling for change in ECE centres aren’t aware of the New Zealand situation. ECEs generally don’t have canteens or sell food.”
Mrs Rich also addressed the remaining four policies, which included setting salt-content targets; further restrictions on marketing unhealthy food to young people, including sports sponsorship and television advertising; mandatory front-of-pack star rating of packaged foods (if not adopted by the food industry); and a 20 per cent tax on sugary drinks.Read More
Countdown makes changes to Store Ops
Countdown has made some changes to its store operations. Staff have been notified in a document headed People. ‘Lead and Develop our people’and ‘We love our Customers’.Read More
FGC welcomes Chris Quin to Foodstuffs North Island
11 May 2015
The Food & Grocery Council welcomes the appointment of Chris Quin as Managing Director of Foodstuffs North Island to replace Murray Jordan.
Chief Executive Katherine Rich says Chris Quin is a proven business leader whose appointment will be well received among the grocery supplier community.Read More
THREAT TO CONTAMINATE FOOD SUPPLY - Statement from FGC
10 March 2015
The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council strongly condemns the criminal who has issued blackmail threats to damage our food supply. The council has absolute confidence in the safety of the New Zealand food supply.
This is an attack on Brand New Zealand. Our country has a reputation for producing safe, high-quality food products which are in demand around the world, and this coward’s letter doesn’t change that at all.Read More
Move more, eat smarter key to obesity battle says expert
Move more and eat smarter – that was the message on fighting obesity from a top US weight management expert, Professor Jim Hill, who spoke at an FGC event in Wellington.Read More
Kiwis don't want sugar tax, says survey
A majority of Kiwis do not want further government regulation of food or drinks, including a tax on sugar, a survey by Southern Cross Health Society has found. The survey, of 2000 people, showed that just 27% agreed there should be further government regulation of food and just 34% for more regulation of drinks.Read More
Grocery Charity Ball raises $252,000 for Camp Quality
The 2014 Grocery Charity Ball raised $252,000 for Camp Quality New Zealand, organisers have announced. Camp Quality is a voluntary organisation dedicated to bringing fun, hope and happiness to children aged 5-16 years living with cancer.
The 2015 ball will be on Saturday 29 August at the Langham in Auckland. The trustees have picked Autism NZ as the beneficiary. Money raised will go to an Autism Resource Centre where sufferers can access clinical diagnostic services and associated therapies.Read More
And a very Merry Christmas, everyone!
Merry Christmas, everyone! This year we’ve got our own FGC Christmas video for those in the Christmas grocery spirit! Click here and hit the play button.Read More
FGC commends DB’s rollout of HPA alcohol moderation campaign
DB Breweries’ rollout of the Health Promotion Agency’s latest alcohol moderation campaign is to be commended, says the Food & Grocery Council. Chief Executive Katherine Rich says the HPA campaign is very clever and engaging.Read More
The fat lie exposed
The Food & Grocery Council has long acknowledged that obesity is an increasing problem. The issue is what we do about it.Read More
Inactivity, not calorie consumption, behind rising obesity in the UK
The rise in obesity amongst the UK population has been primarily caused by a decline in physical activity, according to new research by the Institute of Economic Affairs in London.
Using government figures, this study debunks the popular belief that the rise in obesity in recent decades is the result of increased calorie consumption in general, and sugar in particular.Read More
MBIE to invest in 'functional foods' research
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is to invest in up to three contracts to the maximum value of $400,000 each over two years to facilitate joint research collaborations between New Zealand and Japan on the topic of “functional foods”.Read More
Katherine Rich: A matter of balance
Over the past few weeks our sector has been in the spotlight and has had more media attention than many within our membership can recall.Read More
FGC statement on retrospective payments
“We’re aware of a number of incidents where our member companies have been asked for retrospective payments.
"We have raised our general concerns about this practice with the supermarket chain involved.
"This is a serious issue that is new to the New Zealand grocery sector and we view it as an unwelcome development. We have asked members to report further occurrences.”Read More
Tissue products investment vote of confidence for Kiwi-made
Press Release 30/01/2014
SCA Hygiene Australasia’s $60 million expansion of its toilet and towel tissue manufacturing site in Kawerau is a welcome vote of confidence in the local and national economy, says the Food & Grocery Council.Read More
Store culture matters, says FGC
FGC has put supermarket owners, managers, and buyers on notice following some disturbing reports of in-store behaviour towards suppliers, says CEO Katherine Rich.Read More
Anti-GM paper's retraction 'major blow to opponents'
The retraction last week by the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology of the widely criticised anti-GM research paper commonly referred to as “the Seralini paper” no doubt left many in the science community and food industry around the world rightly asking “what took you so long?” says CEO Katherine Rich.Read More
Julian Baggini: Coke or milk?
FGC has commissioned world-renowned philosopher and author Julian Baggini to give his unique perspective on current discussions within the food industry. In this article, he discusses a topic that is regularly raised – should healthier food automatically be cheaper.
Reputable grocery stores not involved in sulphite findings
Press release 25/09/2013
Fresh meat sold by the mainstream grocery sector is not involved in positive tests for added sulphites, as indicated in a news report, says Food & Grocery Council Chief Executive Katherine Rich.
Last night, TV One ran a lead news item that ‘food safety experts are testing fresh meat sold in supermarkets and butcheries for a banned food preservative’ in contravention of the requirements of the Australia/New Zealand Food Code.Read More
FGC welcomes Bell Tea sale
Press Release 13/09/2013
The NZ Food & Grocery Council welcomes the news of the sale of Bell Tea and Coffee Company and is delighted it will remain in local hands. Founded in 1898, Bell Tea is a New Zealand company that most Kiwis have grown up with.Read More
Food & grocery industry honours two stalwarts
Press Release 2/09/2013
The food & grocery industry honoured two of its stalwarts at the weekend. Maurice Gunnell and Don Graham, both 36-year veterans of the industry, were presented with Lifetime Achiever Awards by Prime Minister John Key at the 2013 Grocery Charity Ball in Auckland on Saturday.Read More
Good on ya, Coke
The latest suite of initiatives by Coca-Cola to help tackle obesity in New Zealand should be widely applauded, says Food & Grocery Council CEO Katherine Rich.Read More
Reports on preschooler TV advertising an exaggeration
Reports that 60 per cent of Kiwi parents of preschoolers are concerned at the amount of TV advertising targeting their children grossly exaggerate the findings of the actual study, says Food & Grocery Council CEO Katherine Rich.
"The results of this University of Otago research study of a small survey of 80 families from Dunedin can hardly be extrapolated to suggest that all New Zealand parents of more than 300,000 children under the age of 5 think exactly the same way."Read More
FGC member’s complaint over olive oil TV programme upheld
Food & Grocery Council member William Aitken & Co, importers of Lupi Olive Oil, has had a complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) upheld.
The complaint concerned an item aired by TVNZ’s Fair Go programme, in which Lupi was subjected to tests by a sensory panel which the programme claimed was accredited by the International Olive Council (IOC).Read More
FGC welcomes health and safety report
Press Release 1/05/2013
The NZ Food and Grocery Council welcomes the report of the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety. Chief Executive Katherine Rich says the report makes some timely recommendations about how New Zealand can improve its workplace safety record.Read More
Health claims decision good for consumers, export manufacturers
The Government’s decision to broaden the way nutrition content and health claims are made on food products will provide a big boost for consumers and export manufacturers, says Food and Grocery Council CEO Katherine Rich.
The decision was announced today by Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye. See details on the Beehive website here.Read More
Katherine Rich: The good oil
Imagine that a European country bans New Zealand lamb because of a dodgy shipment attributed to something that a couple of cowboy sheep farmers did. We would be outraged, and rightly so. Blaming a whole country and threatening to blacklist a vital industry and the thousands of farmers who rely on it for their livelihood all because of the failure of a few would be unjust, to say the least.
But that’s what’s happening over palm oil for the small run-holders in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia, which account for 85% of the world’s production.Read More
Health claims decision good for consumers, exporters
A decision to regulate the way nutrition content and health claims are made on food products will provide a big boost for both consumers and export manufacturers, says Food and Grocery Council CEO Katherine Rich says.Read More
Recruitment: Who have you got on your books?
“Who have you got on your books?” This usually means, “just take a quick look without any real commitment” – and a few of our competitors have been asked to go and do the same. Often there is no real brief given; sometimes a quick 10 minutes on the phone and hiring managers think this is the best approach to ‘cover the market’.Read More
Denmark ditches fat tax as well as plans for tax on sugar
Denmark has scrapped its controversial fat tax just one year after its implementation, after finding that its negative effect on the economy and the strain it has put on small businesses far outweigh the health benefits, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports.Read More
Danish Government may scrap 'Fat Tax'
The Danish Government is considering scrapping its controversial ‘fat tax’ – the world’s first such tax – because it is not working, according to two authoritative websites.
Global Tax News (Tax-news.com) reports that “empirical evidence shows that [the tax's] negative effects outweigh the benefits for the Danish Treasury”.Read More
Ron Vela presented with Lifetime Achiever Award
Grocery sector titan Ron Vela has been presented with the NZ Food & Grocery Council’s 2012 Lifetime Achiever Award for his outstanding contribution to the food industry.Read More
IOC confirms (again) that NZ olive oil testing not official
16 August 2012
TVNZ’s Fair Go programme aired (on May 16) a story on olive oil, where it tested a range of locally sourced samples. Despite being informed by FGC before the programme went to air that the chemical-testing laboratory and the sensory panel were not accredited or recognised by the International Olive Council (IOC), Fair Go broadcast the statement that, “The sensory panel here in New Zealand is IOC accredited”.Read More
Aussie kids consume low levels of food colours
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has released a report which confirms that Australian children are consuming low levels of food colours.Read More
Recruitment: a two-way street
It’s a jungle out there. We insulate ourselves in the safety of our car and battle on the roads fighting traffic, people like us trying to get ahead. We charge around the grocery store, the trolley our chariot, as we simultaneously engage on the mobile phone. We multi-task to combat a shortage of our time, doing more with less. Faster, tougher.Read More