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Progress Welcomed on Regulation for Organics

Progress Welcomed on Defining a National Standard and Regulation for Organics

Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ) has welcomed the announcement from Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor to open consultations to inform the next steps towards defining a single national organic standard to place our organic regulatory system on the same footing as many other countries.

“As champions and the driving force for establishing a single, mandatory definition and standard that is enforceable, we are pleased with progress,” said Doug Voss, the chairman of OANZ. OANZ is the recognised national representative organisation for organic producers, manufacturers, certification agencies, exporters, wholesalers and retailers.

“The Minister and MPI officials have been receptive to our strategy and shown understanding of the market drivers that demand that New Zealand provides customers, consumers and the community domestically and internationally with certainty and credence.”

MPI will open submissions from interested parties from May 14 until June 11, supported by a series of nine regional meetings, to test support for a number of options including recommendations in a positioning paper which are aligned to the strategy OANZ has promoted to have a single national standard that is legally enforceable, Mr Voss said.

“We look forward to continue working collaboratively and constructively with the government and urge all our members, and other interested parties, to make a submission in support of our agreed strategy and also attend the regional meetings MPI have organised to hear what you have to say.”

To find out more about the consultation process, regional meeting schedule and the comprehensive paper with the options that are being considered go to https://www.mpi.govt.nz/news-and-resources/consultations/proposed-changes-to-the-way-organic-production-is-regulated

OANZ’s biannual organics 2018 Market Report is due to be presented to Parliament on June 20 and is expected to show that New Zealand’s organic market is growing fast, as it is in the rest of the world, fuelled by demand from consumers who want to buy authentic products that are good for them and easy on the planet.

“We need that single national standard to be mandatory and enforceable to allow us to significantly enhance export opportunities and encourage producers to invest in organic production,” Mr Voss said. “It will also give customers and consumers peace of mind and the confidence to purchase certified organic product. That’s a win-win for everyone.”

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