Chalkboard theory on sugar tax fails real life test
5 April 2018
Criticism by Otago University campaigners of analysis by NZIER economists on the effectiveness of a sugar tax is weak, says FGC.
The campaigners called for New Zealand to follow the UK’s lead and introduce a tiered levy on sugar in drinks that sends a ‘price signal’ to consumers. The levy was introduced on April 1.Read More
Food and beverage reports good news for industry
15 March 2018
The NZ Food and Grocery Council welcomes the release of the latest growth and investment reports on the food and beverage industry.Read More
Industry will work with Govt, sugar tax off table
9 February 2018
The food industry is ready to work with the Government on further ways of tackling the obesity epidemic, says FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich.
She was commenting on a report quoting Health Minister David Clark that he had no plans for a sugar tax, but was instead focused on working with industry to develop new voluntary measures to reduce the sugar content of products.Read More
Sugar taxes don't work: review backs FGC's argument
7 February 2018
The findings of an independent review into the effectiveness of sugar taxes on health backs up what FGC has been saying for years – that they make little or no difference.Read More
Tax on bread difference between NZ, UK
23 January 2017
Vogels bread in New Zealand is dearer than Vogels in the UK mainly because bread here attracts tax while it doesn’t in the UK, says Katherine Rich. She was asked by the NZ Herald to explain the difference in the price of Vogels between the two countries.Read More
Health Stars driving product reformulation, innovation
1 December 2017
The Health Star Rating scheme is driving positive reformulation of current foods and the innovation of new ones, says FGC. And the industry is keen to work with the Government on issues such as labelling and setting sugar reduction targets.Read More
Retailers allowed to sell past ‘best before’
5 December 2017
New Zealand supermarkets are legally allowed to sell products after their “best before” dates if that’s what they want to do, says FGC.
In response to a move by a UK supermarket chain, Katherine Rich said it was up to supermarkets if they did that “as long as the product is up to scratch” and was clearly marked as being past their “best before”.Read More
Bad Taste Food Awards disappointing and a sham
30 November 2017
Consumer NZ’s Bad Taste Food Awards are disappointing and a sham, says FGC. Katherine Rich says some of the ‘winners’ are the very products Consumer NZ encouraged people to vote for.Read More
Fonterra's Open Gate initiative applauded
29 November 2017
Fonterra is to be applauded for its latest excellent initiative in opening-up dairy farms to the public, says FGC.Read More
Call to label added sugars overlooks science
23 November 2017
Calls for extra sugar labelling to show the amount of ‘added sugars’ in a product rather than just total sugars overlooks the science of food and nutrition, says Katherine Rich.
The call was made by Consumer NZ and the Dental Association ahead of the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation held in Australia.Read More
Bursting FIZZ’s bubbles
14 November 2017
Claims that a tax on sugary drinks is likely to have “a number of benefits” for the population have been shot down by an analysis of available evidence.
The claims of benefits of a tax included: increased cost of sugary drinks, cheaper bottled water and zero sugar drinks by comparison and increased availability, industry reformulating to avoid the tax, new products with less sugar, enhanced public awareness of why sugary drinks are detrimental to health.
But analysis by the Food and Grocery Council from before and after sugar taxes were introduced in Mexico in 2014, and on-the-ground experience of the New Zealand industry, tells a different story.Read More
Industry will work with Govt on healthier food choices
30 October 2017
The Food & Grocery Council welcomes the Government’s interest in food and beverage manufacturing, and looks forward to sharing the success of our members’ reformulation and innovation work, and working constructively to see what more can be done to help Kiwis make healthier choices, says Chief Executive Katherine Rich.Read More
FGC backs call for policy on housing’s threat to food
24 October 2017
The NZ Food & Grocery Council backs the call from Horticulture NZ for a national food security policy focused on the threat to food production from urban sprawl.
Chief Executive Katherine Rich says concerns raised by Horticulture NZ at the effect urban development is having on prized horticulture land, particularly land that used to grow local vegetables, are well founded.Read More
Barker’s, T&G Global win at NZ Food Awards
FGC congratulates members Barker’s of Geraldine and T&G Global for their success at the Massey University NZ Food Awards.
Barker’s won a category for the third year in a row, this year with their Squeezed Fruit Botanicals Syrup: Squeezed Lemons with Lime, Cucumber and Mint. T&G Global was awarded the MPI Primary Sector Products Award for their innovative Lotatoes – potatoes with 40 per cent less carbs.Read More
Manufacturers put huge effort into reformulation
12 October 2017
Manufacturers have put huge, ongoing effort into reformulating popular food and beverage products to remove sugar, fat or salt, Katherine Rich says.
"Blaming the environment for obesity is an academic theory that only takes you so far. There are many people who live in the same environment and aren't obese, which indicates that food selection, genetics and activity levels are key factors as well."Read More
Calls for food regulation not backed by study
10 October 2017
Calls by researchers for more regulation on food and beverage are not backed by the findings of the study they use as evidence, says FGC.
Otago and Auckland university researchers say their study showed children were bombarded by junk food advertisements in schools, homes and on the streets, and the way to reduce exposure was to impose a sugary drinks tax and regulate ‘junk’ food marketing and what foods can be sold in schools.Read More
Ban on single-use plastic bags welcomed
11 October 2017
New World and Countdown stores will be single-use plastic bag-free by the end of next year – moves that are welcomed by FGC.
A survey by New World showed shoppers don't want bags, and so they will join Countdown in phasing them out.Read More
Food factory flags fitting tribute to Sir Pat Goodman
11 September 2017
Flags flying at half-mast at Goodman Fielder factories and offices up and down the country is a most fitting tribute to food industry giant Sir Pat Goodman, says the New Zealand Food and Grocery Council.Read More
Exporters get access to Aussie Code training
8 September 2017
New Zealand companies exporting to Australia can now access an online course on the Australian Food and Grocery Code of Conduct, under a special arrangement between FGC and Australasian retail marketing and strategy company NextGen.Read More
FGC celebrates thriving artisan scene
6 September 2017
The art of the artisan is well and truly thriving on the New Zealand food scene, if the quality of finalists in the category in NZ Food Awards is anything to go by, says Food and Grocery Council Chief Executive Katherine Rich.
“Some of the best products on supermarket shelves come from the innovation of our artisan suppliers, and this year’s awards show that trend is continuing.Read More
Sanitarium must be allowed to protect its brand
10 August 2017
Sanitarium, like any other trademark holder, has little choice but to protect its brand, says NZ Food and Grocery Council Chief Executive Katherine Rich.
"They’re in a difficult position because the product Weetabix, imported by online retailer A Little Bit of Britain, is clearly similar to Weet-Bix – there’s a one-letter difference."Read More
No sugar in most baby foods, adhere to Food Code
18 July 2017
The majority of baby foods available in New Zealand stores do not contain added sugars, and fully adhere to the regulatory requirements of the Food Standards Code. That’s FGC’s response to claims that commercial baby food is full of sugar and empty ‘fillers’ and should be avoided.Read More
FGC welcomes important industry investor guides
30 June 2017
The Food and Grocery Council welcomes the release today of the latest investor guides to New Zealand’s food and beverage industry.
Launched by Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy, the guides contain analysis of trends and opportunities in the industry which can be used to attract investment, assist with business strategy and guide government policy.Read More
Baby food claims based on poor understanding of nutrition
19 June 2017
A university’s research on baby food seems to stem from a poor understanding of nutrition, and it would be great if their own food science and nutrition experts volunteered to offer their colleagues some advice, says FGC’s Katherine Rich.Read More
CoOL bill could affect family food budget
1 June 2017
The Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill proposes major problems for popular and basic parts of the family food budget, NZ Food and Grocery Council Chief Executive Katherine Rich told a parliamentary select committee hearing submissions on the bill.Read More
Whittaker's leads FGC brands in sweep of most trusted
26 May 2017
Whittaker’s has again topping the list of Kiwi’s most trusted brands – for an amazing sixth year in a row.
But not only was the chocolate company voted the Most Trusted Brand across all categories, it also won the confectionary category and was voted Most Iconic NZ Brand.
The NZ Reader's Digest survey was conducted by Roy Morgan and sought the opinions of 1400 Kiwis. Fonterra Brands’ Tip Top ice cream was fourth in the Most Trusted Brand category after winning the Ice Cream category, and Goodman Fielders’ Edmonds brand fifth, and also highly commended in the Most Iconic NZ Brand category.Read More
'Don't flush' video aimed at saving waterways
22 May 2017
A video that promotes a ‘don’t flush’ message about what can’t go down toilets has been launched by the New Zealand Food and Grocery Council (FGC) and Water New Zealand.
Entitled ‘Avoid a flood – think before you flush’, it’s being distributed as part of waterways brochures to schools and via social media.Read More
Goodman Fielder NZ boss is new FGC Chair
13 April 2017
Goodman Fielder NZ Managing Director Tim Deane is the new Chair of the NZ Food and Grocery Council.
He replaces Veronique Cremades, the Country Manager of Nestlé NZ, who has completed her term.Read More
Strong presence at World Expo 2020 in Dubai is vital
24 April 2017
Having a strong presence at World Expo 2020 in Dubai is a vital part of New Zealand’s strategy to diversify and to strengthen other growing markets for food products and services, says NZ Food and Grocery Council Chief Executive Katherine Rich.Read More
An interview with John Clarke
15 April 2016
The untimely death of beloved satirist John Clarke has had many people reaching into record collections, scouring bookshelves, and searching YouTube to refresh memories of a fine talent lost. In his honour, FGC publishes a hitherto unshared video interview with him by one of NZ’s greatest broadcasters, Ian Fraser.Read More
Chinese chasing NZ food with natural ingredients
30 March 2017
New Zealand food and beverage companies are set for further success in the Chinese market as consumers favour more products with natural ingredients, according to a report by global market intelligence agency Mintel.
Research Director Laurel Gu says latest research shows that with a reputation for a strong focus on natural ingredients, New Zealand “could see great success by tapping into Chinese consumers’ healthy lifestyle, particularly within snacking occasions.” This applies also to Australian companies.Read More
FGC welcomes Trade Agenda 2030 strategy
27 March 2017
FGC welcomes the Trade Agenda 2030 strategy launched by the Government. Katherine Rich says New Zealand needs to bring its ‘A’ game to ensure we continue to keep pace with competitors and find new opportunities, and the strategy lays a very good foundation for the coming years.Read More
Caged vs free-range eggs
16 March 2017
While making it clear that FGC does not wish to prejudge any aspect of what has taken place with regard to sales of eggs recently in the news, Katherine Rich says the purchase and sale of cage-produced eggs as free-range eggs are most unlikely to be a fault of any current laws, codes, or rules.
In response to media inquiries about recent allegations, she says rules about the production of eggs and their sale are clear and well-known by producers, while misleading claims or deceptive marketing issues are fully covered by the Fair Trading Act.
“With recent allegations under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office and potentially the subject of a Commerce Commission investigation or further inquiries, it is important that these investigations are allowed to take their course.”Read More
Microbeads mostly gone already from products
FGC welcomes the Government’s discussion document that proposes a ban on microbeads that are used mostly in personal care items such as facial scrubs, cleansers, and toothpaste.
Chief Executive Katherine Rich says most FGC member companies have already reformulated their products to replace microbeads or they’re well down the track to be microbead-free in the next few months.Read More
Food giants sign Healthy Kids Pledge
13 December 2016
Fonterra and Nestle are the first FMCG companies to sign up to the Ministry of Health’s Healthy Kids Pledge, which was published this week.Read More
Advertising food: marketers have children, too
15 October 2016
By Katherine Rich
In the debate about advertising and children there is a cavernous gap between what university academics imagine our FMCG marketers do all day and what actually happens.Read More
Retail NZ, supermarkets obesity pledge applauded
17 October 2016
Retail NZ, Foodstuffs, Progressive Enterprises, Moore Wilson, and Bin Inn are to be congratulated for pledging to work on initiatives under the Government’s Childhood Obesity Plan, says the NZ Food and Grocery Council.Read More
FIZZ campaigners change logo after FGC alert
13 October 2016
FIZZ campaigners are doing the right thing by withdrawing their “No Sugary Drinks” logo after FGC drew attention to it being almost identical in shape and colour to Coke’s iconic curved bottle, says Katherine Rich.
“The logo, which was launched at their recent campaign meeting, was almost identical to iconic curved Coke bottle silhouette pictures that can be found on the internet. It wasn’t fair that they were singling out one drink in their campaign.”Read More
Obesity conversation needs to centre on food literacy
11 October 2016
The discussion around obesity needs to move from one of blaming individual foods and drinks to one centred on food literacy and moderation, says Katherine Rich.
“The present conversation is not getting us anywhere because it’s particularly centred on attacking consumption of sugary beverages when the facts show there are many factors contributing to energy imbalance.Read More
FGC videos help make healthier eating easier
13 September 2016
The NZ Food and Grocery Council wants to help grow Kiwis’ food literacy through four short videos that aim to make healthier eating easier.
The videos, written and presented by trained dietitian and Registered Nutritionist Nikki Hart, tackle subjects people are often confused about: what to eat for breakfast, fad diets, processed foods, and how to use the new Health Star Rating system.Read More
Attack on obesity plan flawed, inconsistent
23 August 2016
A report that attacks the Government’s obesity plan and renews calls for a tax on sugary drinks is flawed on many fronts, says Katherine Rich. It dismisses education about good nutrition and physical activity, its claims about the Health Star Rating are wrong, and there are other inconsistencies.Read More
Mandatory labelling of palm oil will mislead consumers
15 August 2016
Mandatory labelling of palm oil is likely to mislead consumers by implying the world’s most sustainable vegetable oil crop is a toxic ingredient that is best avoided, says Katherine Rich. She was responding to a report that New Zealand's four largest zoos have joined a lobbying effort to force food companies to reveal whether they use palm oil.Read More
Media response: removing sugary drinks from vending machines
27 July 2016
FGC was asked to comment after Auckland Council announced it is to stop selling drinks that are sweetened by sugar from vending machines at its leisure centres.Read More
Media response: removing sugary products from checkouts
15 July 2016
FGC was asked for comment on moves by a Fresh Choice supermarket in Richmond, Nelson, to remove sugary products – chocolate bars, sweets, biscuits, and soft drinks – from its checkouts and replace them with fresh fruit, salads, water, batteries and phone cards.Read More
Answers to Fairfax Media on sugar and obesity
15 April 2016
Katherine Rich this week answered questions from Fairfax Media on obesity, applying sugar taxes on sodas, and a response to criticism from an academic in the US on FGC's comments on the effectiveness of Mexico's soda tax. The resulting article contained few of those answers so we publish the full Q&A. A link to the article is at the end.Read More
Latest sales data shows Mexico sugar tax a failure
17 March 2016
Latest sales data shows Mexico’s 10 per cent tax on sugar-sweetened beverages has been a whopping failure, says FGC CEO Katherine Rich. FGC has released new data which shows that two years after the tax was introduced, sales of sugar-sweetened beverages has dropped by 0.5 per cent – amounting to “not even one sip per person”.Read More
Sales drop less than a sip per person after sugar tax
5 September 2016
Mexico's much-quoted sugar tax on sugar-sweetened beverages has reduced consumption by not even one sip per person in the two years since it was introduced, according to independent sales figures. FGC is republishing the figures after renewed calls for a sugar tax to be placed on sweetened beverages. The figures were obtained from global research company Nielsen and were first published in March this year.
The data shows that sales of sugar-sweetened beverages have dropped by 0.5 per cent – amounting to “not even one sip per person”.Read More
Mexico sugar tax fails to improve public health
The 10 per cent excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in Mexico raised lots of money but failed to improve public health, says FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich.Read More
Companies reformulated 84,000 products in 2015
28 January 2016
Food and beverage companies around the world are reformulating more products to make them healthier and working with more schools to deliver healthy eating and physical activity than ever before.
Consumer Goods Forum’s update shows that in 2015, companies reformulated a massive 84,000 products to make them healthier, compared with 22,500 the year before. Companies also reported partnering with 484,000 schools to provide information that supports developing habits of sensible, balanced diets, good hygiene, and regular physical activity – compared with just 47,000 in 2014.Read More
Companies continue to reformulate foods
1 December 2015
Food companies are continuing to make big strides in the reformulation of popular foods to make them healthier, in line with consumer demand, says Katherine Rich, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food & Grocery Council.Read More
FGC welcomes investor guide to food and beverage industry
24 November 2015
The NZ Food & Grocery Council welcomes the release of the 2015 edition of the ‘Investor’s Guide to the New Zealand Food and Beverage Industry’ by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment.
FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich says it’s a fantastic resource and a must-read for anyone wanting to get a detailed understanding of New Zealand’s major food producers.Read More
Bill on supermarket adjudicator, code of conduct – FGC media response
12 November 2015
NewstalkZB asked FGC for comment on a bill that had been drawn from Parliament’s members’ bill ballot. It was the Commerce (Supermarket Adjudicator and Code of Conduct) Amendment Bill, which is designed to establish an independent supermarket adjudicator to develop a code of conduct for relationships between supermarkets and suppliers. It was in the name of Green MP Mojo Mathers.Read More
Government’s obesity package pragmatic
19 October 2015
The Food and Grocery Council welcomes the Government’s package of initiatives to tackle obesity in children.
Chief Executive Katherine Rich says it’s a pragmatic approach to a concerning problem.Read More
TPP will be NZ’s most lucrative trade deal
6 October 2015
The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement will be the biggest and most lucrative trade deal in New Zealand’s history despite dairy not getting exactly what we all wanted it to get, says Katherine Rich.
“There have been big gains for some sectors and small gains for others, but the main thing is that the agreement will be a big net gain for New Zealand.Read More
DHBs remove fizzy sugary drinks - FGC media response
30 September 2015
The Bay of Plenty Times, Tauranga, asked FGC to comment on moves by the Department of Health to remove fizzy and sugary drinks from DHBs.Read More
Protecting children against unhealthy food marketing
28 September 2015
FGC has responded to a Viewpoint article in the NZ Medical Journal by Stefanie Vandevijvere and Boyd Swinburn entitled ‘Getting serious about protecting New Zealand children against unhealthy food marketing’.
The authors claimed that the marketing of unhealthy food products to children is “powerful, pervasive, and predatory”, and said previous studies found that food marketing targeted at children through various media is “predominantly for unhealthy food products”. This claim was substantiated by citing academic work published 5-15 years ago – well before the introduction of stringent industry rules regarding advertising food. The whole opinion piece creates a misleading impression of the current New Zealand marketing environment.Read More
Obesity report to target emphasis on food education
8 September 2015
An impending report on childhood obesity will point to the need for a stronger emphasis on food education in schools, according Sir Peter Gluckman. The WHO report is due out in the next few weeks and could coincide with a Health Ministry report to Cabinet on an integrated plan to tackle obesity.Read More
Dairy opportunities abound in SE Asia, report finds
Growing consumer demand in South East Asia offers plenty of opportunity for the New Zealand dairy industry to increase its exports of consumer-ready products into the region, a new report shows.
The Government has released the report that assesses possible “build”, “buy” and “niche” strategies across seven dairy consumer product categories (drinking milk products, yoghurt, condensed/evaporated milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, and infant milk formula) in six countries (Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines).Read More
20% sugar tax: Medical Journal paper flawed
18 August 2015
A much-quoted paper published in the NZ Medical Journal by public health academics from the Universities of Auckland and Otago is riddled with flaws, an independent review has found.
The FGC-commissioned review, by economist Dr Brent Wheeler, was entitled ‘Sweet and Sour: Advocacy for Sugar Taxes Rests on Fallacious Reasoning and Ignores Experience’.Read More
Academics’ criticism of breakfast cereals irresponsible
3 August 2015
A claim by university academics that breakfast cereal is associated with obesity and among “the unhealthiest food available” in New Zealand supermarkets is incorrect and irresponsible, says the NZ Food & Grocery Council.Read More
More food activist research from Auckland University
30 July 2015
The latest research from Auckland University on packaged foods in New Zealand supermarkets is another disappointing example of food politicking dressed up as academic research, says NZ Food & Grocery Council Chief Executive Katherine Rich.
“But what’s even more disappointing is that the paper is flawed due to its misuse of a specific food scoring system (the Nutrient Profiling Scoring Criterion – NPSC) that was developed by Food Standards Australia New Zealand solely for the regulation of health and nutrient claims about foods.”Read More
Additives and food processing aids – FGC media response
20 July 2015
The NZ Listener asked FGC for comment on the use of additives and food processing aids and on their inclusion in food labelling.
Some, but not all, of FGC’s comments were featured in their July 25 issue in a cover article weirdly entitled “The Food Industry’s Darkest Secrets – Would you like wood pulp, animal enzymes and oxidised fat with that?” It draws on a recent book by writer Joanna Blythman ‘Swallow This: Serving Up the Food Industry's Darkest Secrets’.Read More
Production, packaging and sale of foods for children - FGC media response
20 July 2015
Fairfax Media asked FGC for comment regarding the production, packaging and sale of foods for children.Read More
Poll on food advertising to children flawed
20 July 2015
A poll that found 73 per cent of adult participants favoured stronger restrictions to reduce the amount of unhealthy food and drink advertising and promotion to children used questions that created the false impression there is a lot of advertising directed at children, says FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich.
The Horizon Research poll of 1620 New Zealanders’ attitudes to junk food marketing restrictions was commissioned by the University of Auckland’s School of Population Health.Read More
More calls for taxes on food – FGC media response
7 July 2015
The NZ Herald asked for comment on the research paper out of Auckland University which recommended both a combined food tax and subsidy option and also a greenhouse gas tax option.Read More
Fizzy tax won't solve NZ's obesity problem
Sugar tax supporters believe a 10% tax on fizzy drinks like in Mexico will be a magic solution to New Zealand’s obesity problem. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Local activists such as Boyd Swinburn were overjoyed following the release of a study by Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health. It claimed the tax reduced purchases in Mexican households by an average 12% at the end of the first year, and that “taxes imposed on sugar-sweetened beverages can help change behaviours in benefit of public health”.Read More
Mexican tax on sugar 'a complete flop'
Mexico’s much-quoted tax on high calorie foods and beverages containing sugar is proving to be a complete flop, says FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich.
Mrs Rich was in Mexico City recently and took the opportunity to gather some background on how effective the tax has been just over a year after it was implemented.Read More
Academics should do homework before demanding tax on salt
5 May 2015
Academics should their homework on food production and the work the food industry is doing before making the same old calls for taxes on things such as salt, says FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich.
She also said taxing salt would put up the price of many foods, and that would hit the poorest particularly hard.Read More
Country of origin labelling - FGC media response
20 March 2015
Supermarket News asked FGC for its stance on country of origin labelling in light of what it perceives as growing demand for this from consumers, particularly those in Australia after the recent recall of Nanna’s berries following a hepatitis outbreak.Read More
Banning sugary drinks in council buildings – FGC media response
11 March 2015
The Otago Daily Times asked FGC for reaction to a proposed trial by Dunedin City Council to ban sugary drinks in council buildings, including Moana Pool and Forsyth Barr Stadium. This followed a presentation to the council by public health professionals.Read More
Food prices up, bread stays same - FGC media response
17 February 2015
The NZ Herald asked FGC to comment on a Statistics NZ report on food price inflation. It showed that while prices of lamb, beer, milk, fish & chips, and apples all increased between 2009 and 2014, the price of bread remained the same at $1.80 per loaf.
The Herald asked: From the council’s perspective, are these price increases fair?Read More
FGC submits on MPI cost recovery proposals
FGC has made a submission on the Ministry for Primary Industries’ proposals concerning cost recovery. It will be available in the Submissions section of this website shortly.
MPI says the purpose of the proposals is to update fee rates and improve policy settings. MPI has been holding stakeholder meetings around the country to explain its proposals. More than 250 biosecurity and food safety fees, charges, and levies are involved.Read More
Report reaffirms NZ has one of best food safety systems
The second report into the Fonterra whey protein concentrate incident reaffirms that New Zealand has one of the best and safest food production and regulatory systems in the world, says NZ Food & Grocery Council Chief Executive Katherine Rich.Read More
FGC members feature on Most Loved Brands list
FGC members have featured strongly on the list of Most Loved Kiwi Brands for 2014, as determined by Colmar Brunton’s recent survey.Read More
Response to Commerce Commission report
Press Release 20 November 2014
The Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework, says Chief Executive Katherine Rich.
We stand by our statements, based on information received from members earlier this year, that Countdown did ask some suppliers for payments related to trading in previous periods.Read More
Unanimous vote of confidence for Board, Chief Executive
The Board and Chief Executive of the NZ Food & Grocery Council have received a unanimous vote of confidence from a record number of delegates at their annual conference in Queenstown.
The conference was probably the council’s most successful of recent times, with 360 delegates from FGC’s 230-strong company membership attending.Read More
Industry plays active role in helping improve Kiwis' health
The food industry plays a vital and active role in helping to improve the health and nutrition of New Zealanders through helping shape legislation, in reformulating food, enhancing education, and by delivering community programmes aimed at better health, FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich told a Nutrition Foundation symposium on health and food on October 30.Read More
Healthy-Food labelling – FGC media response
26 August 2014
Consumer magazine asked for the food industry’s perspective on the front-of-pack health star labelling system to go with an article on snack bars. Does the Food and Grocery Council have a position statement on this issue? Do members intend to take up this voluntary system? What timeframes are in place for companies that will proceed? Will companies will display the health star rating on their whole product range or a small selection of products?Read More
Air in Packets - FGC media response
The Sunday Star-Times asked FGC about air in bags of chips, bagel crisps, cereals and other products: How much air is in the packets? Is there more air than food? Is there a ratio of air-to-food that packaging companies aim for? What is the reason behind the air in the packet? Is it misleading to consumers when they get a big packet/bag but most of it is air? why/why not?Read More
Food in school canteens - FGC media response
3 September 2014
The Christchurch Press posed questions to FGC (3/9/2014) on the issue of food in school canteens. It did not publish these comments or a story about food in school canteens.Read More
Caffeine drinks for children - FGC media response
The NZ Herald asked FGC for comment after a man took photos he claimed showed Monster energy drink company handing out 550ml cans containing 176mg of caffeine to kids aged between 8 and 11 in a central Auckland skate.Read More
Health Star Rating system a positive move
10 September 2014
The Government’s decision to pick up Australia’s voluntary front-of-pack Health Star Rating system was a positive move and was heralded as such from both inside and outside the industry. Certainly, Kiwi shoppers liked the idea of more at-a-glance information about what’s in the food they’re buying, and this was evidenced by a NZ Herald poll which found that 80% surveyed supported the scheme.Read More
Recalibration of supplier-retailer relationship needed, says CE
For any type of business negotiation to be successful there has to be a degree of trust and respect – trust that the person on other side of the table is playing with a straight bat, and respect for the position they represent.
It’s also about playing fair.Read More
Front-of-pack labelling system a positive move
Press Release 27 June 2014
The Government’s decision to join Australia’s voluntary front-of-pack nutrition labelling system is a positive move, says NZ Food & Grocery Council Chief Executive Katherine Rich.Read More
Katherine Rich: Measured discussion sign of positive change in obesity debate?
20 March 2014
Did I recently detect a change in the obesity debate? A change from the hysteria that usually surrounds the issue to something more rational? If I’m right, it will mark a change that won’t be before time.
The source of my optimism was an article circulated by Fairfax NZ under the heading “Link found between obesity and religion”, which reported on a study which found that Pacific Islanders have a greater risk of being obese if they attend church!Read More
Over-indulgence of calories from all foods key to obesity
24 March 2014
Sugar is not the problem when it comes to obesity, it's over-indulgence of calories from all foods that's the problem. Balancing energy in with energy out are the keys to healthy diet, writes Katherine Rich.Read More
FGC cooperating with Commerce Commission investigation
Press Release 20/2/2014
The Food & Grocery Council is cooperating with the Commerce Commission investigation into allegations of anti-competitive behaviour towards suppliers by Countdown, CEO Katherine Rich said today.
"We will support our member companies if they decide to participate.
"We welcome that the identity of submitters will be kept confidential."Read More
FGC companies do not sell energy drinks to schools
Food & Grocery Council member companies do not sell energy drinks to schools, CEO Katherine Rich said today in response to calls for energy drinks to be banned from schools.Read More
FGC on WPC inquiry report
Press Release 11/12/13
The report of the independent inquiry into the whey protein concentrate incident released today reaffirms to the world that New Zealand has one of the best and safest food production and regulatory systems, says Food & Grocery Council CEO Katherine Rich.Read More
Katherine Rich: Fonterra did right thing - never a risk to babies
15 October 2013
All New Zealand food manufacturers breathed a sigh of relief when the tests came back showing there was never any botulism risk from Fonterra’s batches of whey protein. After several weeks of uncertainty and worry for mum and dad shoppers, the company, the food industry, and the country as a whole, the news was greatly welcomed. The negative result meant there was never a risk to babies anywhere in the world.
Katherine Rich: Plunging the depths of the obesity argument
31 October 2013
When Christchurch supermarket owner Phillip Blackburn was likened to a drug dealer for wanting to sell beer and wine in his newly built New World, it plunged new depths in a debate about what can and can’t be sold in supermarkets.Read More
Katherine Rich: Sustainable palm oil
Reading headlines such as “Deadly Palm Oil In Your Trolley”, one could easily get the false impression that any New Zealand firm using palm oil is personally responsible for the demise of the orangutan and the world’s rainforests.Read More
Katherine Rich: Traffic labelling the lazy option
Last month in FMCG magazine, Trina Snow of Nargon wrote an excellent piece on the Council of Australian Government’s labelling review which is currently underway.
The review is an ambitious piece of work which endeavours to seek some clarity on what the best methods of front-of-pack labelling might be.Read More
Bank’s sugar report ‘unbalanced, not based on evidence’
18 September 2013
A report on sugar consumption by international bankers Credit Suisse provides “an unbalanced view of the world’s obesity problem and the role sugar plays in the human diet,” FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich says in an article published on the influential Asian food website Food Navigator Asia.Read More
Palm oil labels won’t inform shoppers or save wildlife
Press Release 21/06/2010
The Food and Grocery Council is concerned that calls for mandatory labelling of palm oil might mislead consumers by implying that the world’s most sustainable vegetable oil crop is a toxic ingredient best avoided, says Chief Executive Katherine Rich.
“The opposite is true. When grown on appropriate farming land, palm oil is the most environmentally sustainable, cost effective and versatile vegetable oil available in the world today.”Read More
FGC welcomes Fonterra recall review
Press Release 4/09/2013
The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council welcomes the release today of the results from Fonterra’s internal operational review into its recent precautionary recall.
FCG Chief Executive Katherine Rich said the review had been thorough and had asked the tough questions about how and why the recall occurred, so that the company can move forward.Read More
FGC on Fonterra announcement
Press Release 28/8/2013
The news that there was no botulism risk from Fonterra’s batches of whey will come as a huge relief to consumers around world, as well as to the company and the New Zealand food industry, says Food & Grocery Council Chief Executive Katherine Rich.Read More
Katherine Rich: Fighting the obesity epidemic
1 February 2013
Claims that the food industry promotes and sells food and beverages containing sugar and other calories but is not interested in being part of the solution to the obesity epidemic are made out of ignorance.
You don’t have to dig too deep to see that, in fact, the food industry – from the supply community through to retailers, and even some fast-food restaurants – is involved in many innovative programmes designed to promote healthy food choices. They are trying very hard to change people’s habits.Read More
Katherine Rich: True colours
In this age of instant social electronic media, many pitfalls abound for the unwary. A rushed, unconsidered response to something can result in a “tweet” or a Facebook post that can go viral within seconds, never to be pulled back.Read More
Work to be done on Aust health star rating labelling system, says Katherine Rich
The recent announcement that the Australian Government is to adopt what it calls a “health star rating” labelling system on packaged foods has caused something of a stir across the Tasman.
A Front of Pack Labelling (FoPL) system, designed to give consumers at-a-glance information about the food they are buying, has been an issue that trans-Tasman governments, by way of the joint Australian and New Zealand Ministers Food Regulation Forum, have been wrestling with for several years.Read More