Buying Local Food | Murray Lloyd Photograph

The markets will be crammed with lovely fresh produce now spring has arrived and in NZ we can find locally produced food easily. Not so elsewhere.

In Britain, a local government report said a quarter of food could not be verified as local in one county. In North Wales only half the meat sold as Welsh lamb was found to be Welsh and in an English restaurant "Hampshire spring lamb" was sold which was actually from New Zealand.

In Canada the government have changed the criteria on what constitutes local. The government say the food just has to come from within the same province to be called local. In Canada this could mean a 1500km journey. Previously a 50km radius was deemed local.  Here is a funny take on local food.

Oritain is a New Zealand company based in Dunedin specialising in food verification. Their mission statement states Oritain can independently and scientifically verify the origin of food products to a forensic standard. The consumers in Canada and Britain would clearly benefit from their services.

 

Organic fruit at Te Mata | Murray Lloyd Photography

Te Mata Wine, Te Mata Cheese, Te Mata Peak may all be names recognizable to Hawkes Bay visitors and residents but Te Mata Orchard less so. Only a stone's throw from the Te Mata Cheesery, the orchard is an organic operation growing  apples, pears and plums. Ian Kiddle, who has hosted me on a couple of occasions exports produce and also supplies the Pure Fresh brand seen in New Zealand supermarkets. The domestic organic market in NZ is worth about $350 million (at last count) and more than half that value is exported. Evidence is mounting the world wants sustainable produce.

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