Countdown in the spotlight again

By Maiki Sherman

Bins have been found that are believed to have been full of fish including snapper, tarakihi, and many more. All are believed to be good enough for consumption, but instead they're becoming food for gardens, essentially, minced up into fertiliser.

Kevin Rogers, a fisherman took photos of what appeared to be perfectly normal fish thrown away, by whom he alleges, Progressive Foodstuffs, he says that “The general public wouldn't have a clue of what's going on around the place…yeah it's just oh unbelievable.”

Pictures have emerged that were taken over the summer, they were taken by Kevin Rogers in anger. He's been using this waste plant for the past 14 years. He says he's seen fish being wasted on a number of occasions. According to receipts the fish came from the company Progressive Seafoods Division in Penrose, Auckland. That's the seafood processing plant of Countdown Supermarkets.

Anton Gullery, Countdown Seafood manager adds that “essentially it's unsafe to eat, it doesn't fall within our food safety programme, we're not comfortable putting that out to consumers to eat, we have very strict controls.”

According to Countdown, of all its fish over a one year period 0.2% of it ends up at the waste plant. Furthermore, it says most of the waste is fish parts and only a small amount is whole fish. However, over a four day period in recent months, photographs were taken on two occasions that show whole fish with a receipt on one occasion showing a weight of 6.7 tonne.

Kevin Rogers says also that “every food industry has got their waste it doesn't matter what, cabbages, onions, spuds, whatever, you're going to get a certain per cent of wastage. But the tonnage I've seen there, if they call that normal, they've got their heads in the bloody sand.”

However, Anton Gullery is still determined of the fact in adding that “what I can tell you is we've been through all of our CCTV footage, checked the waste going out every single day that you've given us and beyond and back three or four months and I can tell you that these are isolated cases. “

The issue has now escalated to the parliamentary level. Shane Jones is already embroiled in a battle with Countdown on separate allegations, but the MP says in regards to the latest information an investigation is necessary.

Labour MP, Shane Jones says, “once it becomes evident to the hoi-polloi, that this level of wastage it's going to churn people's guts, it's going to repel them.”

According to Kevin, the man who sparked this closer look, it's better the issue is tackled head on rather than ignored completely.