INDEPENDENT NEWS

Another food heavyweight goes GE free

Published: Tue 25 Nov 2003 10:45 AM
Another food heavyweight goes GE free in time for Christmas
Auckland - Another of New Zealand’s biggest food companies; Goodman Fielder (1), has joined Australasian food heavyweights Heinz Watties and Unilever in the green (non-GE) section of the Greenpeace GE Free Food Guide. Volunteers dressed as Christmas elves will be on streets nationwide today handing out free copies of the updated pocket sized consumer guide to avoiding genetically engineered (GE) food.
Written statements from Goodman Fielder to Greenpeace outline a new policy of excluding all GE crop derived ingredients, including animal feed in their food production. “Goodman Fielder’s non-GE commitment is a great victory for the New Zealand consumer and it comes just in time for Christmas shopping!” said Greenpeace GE Campaigner Steve Abel today.
Goodman Fielder brands now in the “green” section include all their famous bread brands such as Vogels and Country Split, their margarines including Sunrise and MeadowLea and Amco cooking oils. Earnest Adams and Bluebird brands remain in the “orange” section as the company is still in the process of ensuring the non-GE crop derived status of all ingredients.
The announcement of Goodman Fielder’s non-GE commitment follows hard on the heels of a similar announcement last month by New Zealand’s largest supermarket chain Foodstuffs who have a strong non-GE ingredient policy as do their major supermarket competitor Progressive.
“The tide against GE crop ingredients in food has carried a steady stream of food companies from the red (may contain GE) to the green section of the guide over the last four years. This is set to continue as food companies increasingly recognise that consumer opposition to eating GE is not going away.”
“The Goodman Fielder commitment means all the major bread brands and all the margarines in the supermarket are now ‘in the green’ with Unilever (Goodman Fielder’s major margarine competitor) and George Weston (Goodman Fielder’s major bread competitor) having achieved a non-GE status over a year ago,” said Abel.
Green Christmas elves will be handing out free copies of the new fourth edition of the guide at locations nationwide including – Hawkes Bay, Christchurch, Auckland, Dunedin and Tauranga. The guide can also be downloaded online at www.gefreefood.org.nz where a new feature enables visitors to create their own shopping list from a virtual supermarket.
(1) Goodman Fielder is described as Australasia’s largest food company with a turnover in New Zealand of $662 million. Goodman Fielder is the single biggest user and distributor of canola oil in Australasia. The company’s new non-GE commitment can be seen as a significant blow to the market prospects of GE canola in Australasia.
GE Free Foods Guide Facts
• This is the fourth edition of the Greenpeace NZ GE Free Food Guide. The guide has been updated and published annually since 2000.
• There have been over a quarter of a million (258,000) visits to the online version of the GE Free Food Guide (www.gefreefood.org.nz) since December 2000.
• To date at least 100,000 published guides have been distributed and 100,000 printed versions of this fourth edition will be distributed over the next few months.
• Greenpeace Australia published their second guide this year having distributed 500,000 copies of the first edition in 2002.
• Greenpeace has published GE free food guides or “red and green lists” all over the world including China, Canada, the UK, Germany, Thailand and Greece.
Greenpeace elves will be at the following areas in Auckland at the following times: 11.00 Whitcoulls, Queen Street 12.00 Three Lamps, Ponsonby 1.30 West Auckland, Westgate Countdown Massey (outside store)
Greenpeace New Zealand
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Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace.
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