"New Zealand Grown" labels which indicate produce and meats are grown locally will in the next few months be rolled out on product on supermarket shelves.

The green labels, introduced by the membership-based Buy NZ Made campaign, are alternative stickers to the already existing NZ Made stickers, designed to be used by produce resellers and growers.

Buy NZ Made executive director Ryan Jennings said the produce labels would benefit consumers and were a way for businesses to ensure they were compliant with the Country of Origin Food Act which was introduced in December.

The stickers for campaign members were not developed because of the legislation, Jennings said. "The artwork was already there and has always been around but it was a problem needing a solution because the NZ Made is really the default one that manufacturers turn to."


Jennings said the campaign expected strong demand from horticulture, agriculture and primary producers.

"I think this Act will give some businesses the extra push to actually put some labelling on their [product] if it's going to help consumers choose."

Medicinal cannabis manufacturer Helius Therapeutics has already adopted the stickers along with other primary industry producers Zealong Tea, Harraways, Gourmet Direct, Van Lier Nurseries and Pataka Berries, among others.

Gourmet Direct, an e-commerce business to consumer meat supplier, was approved to use the marketing labels a few days ago.

Company owner and director Kate King said she believed the New Zealand Grown labels would result in an increase in sales.

Research King undertook into consumer buying habits as part of her Masters thesis shows New Zealand consumers are heavily influenced by country of origin when considering meat purchases.

"Something like 1100 of the 1200 surveyed were way more likely to buy a meat product if it was made in New Zealand rather than imported," King said.

Kate King, owner of Gourmet Direct. Photo / Supplied
Kate King, owner of Gourmet Direct. Photo / Supplied

Gourmet Direct plans to begin exporting its meat overseas and believes the campaign labels will resonate well with health-conscious consumers.


"There is quite a bit of confusion out there in terms of where our meat products, in particular, come from and we run into all sorts of misconceptions. I think it is really important to give New Zealand's premium farmers the support, too."

Greg Harford, general manager of public affairs at Retail NZ, said consumers increasingly wanted to know the origin of their foods.

"New Zealand grown food is often seen as premium product.

"You'll often see "Produce of New Zealand" labels above fruit and veges in store, for example, and fruit often carries a label identifying the product and the country of origin. Domestically, the region is also often shown too because that can be more meaningful for local consumers," Harford said.

"The new labels, building on the traditional Buy NZ Made branding, are likely to be well received, but it is only one way retailers and suppliers can show their products come from New Zealand."