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Better Market Access Secured For Organics To EU

2 July 2002

Better Market Access Secured For Organic Products To The EU

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA), formerly MAF Food, and the Organic Products Exporters of New Zealand Incorporated (OPENZ) are thrilled to announce that after two years work, New Zealand has had its Official Organic Assurance Programme accepted for organic exports to the European Union (EU) and has been rewarded with a "third country listing".

The third country listing means that there is a government to government agreement between the European Commission and the NZFSA (still known as MAF offshore) for New Zealand organic products exported to European Union member countries. The programme will simplify access for organic products exported to the EU, as it will avoid the need for New Zealand exporters to obtain import licenses from individual states within the EU. It provides an official government to government assurance to the EU that organic products exported from New Zealand have been produced under organic rules that are equivalent to the EU's regulations. As a result NZ's organic exporters will have greater long-term market access stability in Europe.

OPENZ requested and funded the then MAF to develop and manage the programme that was successfully negotiated by MAF's Dairy and Plant Products Group in conjunction with Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials. Director, Tim Knox, today congratulated the team for their successful effort that has been achieved in a relatively short time.

"New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world that has third country listing for such a wide range of products including dairy, fruit, honey and meat products", Mr Knox said.

The Executive Director of OPENZ, Jon Manhire, welcomed the development.

"We look forward to continuing to work with the NZFSA to improve access for other key markets", he said.

Ends

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