Interrupting normal transmission to discuss important legal and political stuff ...
A proposed overhaul to NZ's Food Act (the Food Bill) has been in the media a bit lately, but I was finding it hard to untangle the facts. After being commissioned to write an article about it, I decided the only thing to do was read the whole darn Food Bill myself.
Okay, yes, I did skim some bits! But others I read thoroughly and repeatedly - especially those that applied to small-scale trading of food within communities. I found things that concerned me.
The article will be out next month [update 30 Oct: It's in the November issue of Taste, and I think it hits stores this week]. In the meantime I've put up a note on Facebook, containing my interpretation of and personal concerns about the Food Bill.
I have strong sympathy with the view that very small-scale home food trades should be treated like gifts - i.e. not covered by central government legislation at all. But unfortunately I don't see this happening, so my focus is on how the way they are covered by the legislation should be altered.
Particularly I think many of these very small-scale trades should be explicitly exempted from having to register a food plan (or having to apply individually for an exemption from registration).
Direct swaps and sales of your home-grown horticultural produce already are explicitly exempted from registration in the Bill. But more processed food like home-made jams, pickles, baking, cheese, etc. do - according to the Bill - require you to register a food plan in order to barter or sell them - even in the tiniest amount. That seems silly and wrong to me.
If you want to read more of my summary and thoughts, they're here on Facebook.
When the conservation shoe-string snaps… - New Zealand has more than 3,000 native species heading toward extinction, yet the budget for the government agency tasked with protecting them has been str...
3 days ago