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Les squires

Mimic This! ooooby NZ -- Sharing home grown food criminalized?

A message to all members of Ooooby

Many of you will be aware of the Food Bill that is due to be passed through Parliament over the summer holidays.

This Bill directly effects Ooooby and its members.


In a nutshell, if the new Food Bill is passed then 'unexempted' sharing and trading of

homegrown food would be a criminal offence.  This sounds ridiculous I know, but it is true.

We're not into scare mongering here at Ooooby and it would be remiss of us to not respond to this considering the relevance.


One thing you can do is to sign this online petition.

There are over 14,000 signatures already and we need 50,000 to make ourselves heard.


Another thing you can do is forward this to as many people as you know.

At this link are three independent interpretations of the Food Bill.

They are a longish read (nowhere near as long as the actual Food Bill itself) and they highlight the main points of concern.


If you have any ideas on how else we can prevent this Bill from going through, please let us all know in the comments at this link.

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Comment by Jacinta O'Reilly on December 24, 2011 at 1:06pm
Hi Les, David

As per the debate on oooby, the bill does not propose to criminalise food sharing. It continues the current requirement that home-to-consumer sellers be registered, and requires them to be informed about safe food handling practices. The minister has agreed to exempt plants and seeds for growing on, but to date has not done this. Green party MP Mojo Mathers has undertaken to remind her of this, and take other concerns to the minister after the holiday. Mojo would like to hear what the problems are with the bill. Phone: 021 175 6025 txt only
Email: Good idea to also remind your local MP about this oversight.

Public submissions on the bill have now closed, but parliamentary debate will continue, so take concerns to MPs, but please check the bill beforehand- some panic that it impacts on, for example, seed provenance is misleading.

Infrequent charitable food stalls, fund raising meals etc are exempt.
Comment by David Eggleton on December 21, 2011 at 9:44am
This is a portion of the legislative committee's report out in the summer of 2010:

Small scale businesses
We recommend amending clause 95 by inserting new subclause 95(5) to provide an example of a person to whom the chief executive might grant an exemption from the requirement to operate under a registered food control plan or national programme. This example concerns someone who produces in his or her own home any food for sale, and sells the food to a consumer only, and does not employ or engage anyone else to assist in the production or sale of the food, and does not otherwise sell or distribute the food.
The treatment of very small-scale food businesses has emerged as a matter of particular interest in our consideration of the bill. Very small-scale food traders, or “cottage industries” are not distinguished in the bill. It would be difficult to quantify “small-scale” in terms of profit, quantity of product, or number of people involved in the operation, and it is also difficult to define a “cottage” food industry. Doing so could have the effect of inappropriately including or excluding particular food-trading activities. Therefore we do not recommend a generic “cottage industry” provision, and propose instead that any exemption from the requirement to operate under a food control plan or national programme regulations could be made on a case-by-case basis through the exercise of the chief executive’s exemption power under this clause.

The status of the bill has eluded me, so far.

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