Home' FMCG Business : FMCG MARCH 2017 Contents [buyNZmade]
‘Made in NZ’
Country of origin labelling can have a
big effect on sales. For quality, prestige
or loyalty reasons, consumers often
consider country of origin when making
New Zealand country of origin labelling is
no different. New Zealand is known for quality
products produced in a clean green environment
under fair working conditions.
So what actually determines if a product can be
called ‘New Zealand Made’?
The Commerce Commission, responsible for
administering the Fair Trading Act, says this: “If
the product is produced in New Zealand from
virtually all New Zealand components then there
is little risk in claiming that such a product is
‘New Zealand made’. However, if important
components are imported or if part of the
manufacturing process is undertaken offshore,
then a ‘New Zealand made’ claim risks breaching
the Act. However, depending on the product or
the nature of the manufacturing process some such
products may be legitimately described as ‘Made in
This can be confusing for manufacturer and
customer alike – what does it mean?
Key ingredients or components
must originate in New Zealand
A recent Court case held that key ingredients of
the product must have originated in New Zealand.
In this case, a New Zealand firm making goats’-
milk based dietary supplement labelled its product
‘100% New Zealand made’.
But all the active ingredients, including the
goats’ milk powder, had been imported. Blended
here in New Zealand with other ingredients, the
imported ingredients were then turned into the
The Court said the labels were misleading, as a
reasonable person would believe the tablets had
not only been processed in New Zealand but had
been made from New Zealand goats’ milk powder.
The decision shows that labelling a dietary
supplement as ‘New Zealand Made’ may be
misleading if the key ingredients do not come
from New Zealand - even if they are packaged or
turned into tablets here.
Blending imported ingredients to a formula
created in New Zealand is not enough to allow the
product to be labelled ‘New Zealand Made’.
Substantial transformation must
occur in New Zealand
The Court also said that where products involve
a manufacturing process, the substantial
transformation (when something different has
been created or manufactured) must occur in
Goods are substantially transformed if they
undergo a fundamental change in in form,
appearance or nature, resulting in new and
In the goats’ milk case, the Court held that
substantial transformation occurred when the
goats’ milk was converted into powder – and this
occurred overseas, not in New Zealand, meaning
the product should not have been labelled ‘New
Guidance for food and dietary
For most food and dietary supplement products
the issue of ‘Made in New Zealand’ can be resolved
1. Key ingredients or components - If all
ingredients are from New Zealand, the product
can be labelled New Zealand-made. If there are
a few minor imported ingredients such as herbs
and spices, this will generally not affect the New
Zealand-made claim provided the packaging states
‘New Zealand-made using imported herbs’. Then
it’s clear to the consumer. But labelling products
‘New Zealand-made from local and imported
ingredients’ is often not a good idea because the
consumer can’t tell whether the key ingredients are
local or imported.
2. Substantial transformation – In addition
to the key ingredients being sourced from New
Zealand, if a food or dietary supplement item has
been ‘substantially transformed’ in New Zealand
(i.e. the key manufacturing process that created the
product occurred in New Zealand), the product
can be labelled New Zealand-made.
3. Fair Trading Act - Food manufacturers
considering using the Kiwi trademark to promote
a product as New Zealand-made must first make
sure its use is compliant with the Fair Trading Act.
That way, costly label or packaging reprinting is
avoided. More information about the Act can be
found at: http://tinyurl.com/ztmrtsu
Easy to use guides can be found on our website
Buy NZ Made
What does it mean for food and dietary supplement manufacturers?
26 FMCG BUSINESS - MARCH 2017
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