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Progress Welcomed on National Regulation for Organics

Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ) has welcomed the announcement from Minister of Agriculture and Food Safety Damien O’Connor to move forward with the next legislative steps towards defining a single national organic standard, underpinned by regulation, to place New Zealand’s organic sector on the same footing as many other countries.

“We appreciate the government and MPI officials responding swiftly to the feedback from the extensive consultation process undertaken earlier this year which showed 85 per cent support for changing the way organics are regulated,” said Doug Voss, Chair of OANZ, the national umbrella organisation and advocate for the country’s booming organic sector. “We are delighted that our sector’s voices have been heard and we are moving to the next phase in drafting a Bill to define a national standard that is enforceable of what constitutes authentic, certified organic products from New Zealand.”

Mr Voss said OANZ which brings together organic producers, manufacturers, certification agencies, exporters, wholesalers and retailers will continue working collaboratively and constructively with the government and other interested parties to ensure that the long overdue regulatory framework to bring New Zealand on par with most other countries progresses.

“Market drivers demand that New Zealand provides customers, consumers and the community domestically and internationally with certainty and credence that certified organic products from here are indeed the real deal. The New Zealand organic sector has grown 30 per cent or 10 per cent a year since 2015 to now be worth $600 million and growing, buoyed along by increasing global – and domestic – demand for natural, ethical products that are good for them and their families, and kind to the planet.”

“A single national standard that is backed by legislation will significantly enhance export opportunities and encourage producers to invest in organic production,” Mr Voss said. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Mr O’Connor said the national standard for organic production will be progressed as a Government bill next year, “so our agribusinesses can extract more value from what they do as soon as possible”.

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