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Jim Sutton Speech at launch of organic standard

Jim Sutton Speech at launch of organic standard

Ladies and Gentlemen: thank you for attending this function tonight. We are here to celebrate a significant milestone in the development of the organics sector in New Zealand.

We have a New Zealand standard for organics, which lays out a standard which producers can use as a benchmark and consumers can recognize as providing them with products of a certain quality.

The Standard has been developed by Standards New Zealand and has involved a great deal of work by a great many people. Jim Kebbell, who was chairman of the reference panel will speak about the future of the Standard in a few minutes.

We are also launching the "Organic Sector Strategy: A real opportunity for New Zealand: A strategy to unlock the value in organic systems." You cannot help but be impressed by this document and its title says it all. It is reassuring that that leaders of all the main organic interest groups have endorsed the stategy.

As with the Standard, the Strategy is important to Te Waka Kia Ora and I am pleased that Percy Tipene is here this evening to give us his perspective of just how important the documents launched tonight are.

The Organic Federation of Aotearoa New Zealand has been the major influence behind these initiatives and the Chair, Brendon Hoare (WHO-AH-AY), will speak in a few minutes.

The organic sector is now intent on implementing the Strategy and has put in place an Establishment Board that has that responsibility. Gordon Campbell, who is chairman of that board will also speak tonight.

Lastly, I would like to acknowledge Organic Farm New Zealand which has arisen out of the small scale organic certification scheme. This is a practical scheme that has the potential to go from strength to strength. Peter Downard, who is chair is here tonight also. Anyone with a particular interest in this area should track him down.

With the launching of the New Zealand Organic Standard and the Sector Strategy tonight, and the successful continuation of the small scale organic certification scheme which has now grown into Organic Farm NZ, we have now, collectively, brought the three government-funded initiatives aimed at enhancing the role of organics in New Zealand through to fruition.

The industry now has the necessary framework to enable it to prosper and grow.

The extent to which it does will depend on the demands of consumers around the world, and the ability of the industry to meet that demand.

Ladies and Gentlemen: once again, I would like to congratulate Standards NZ and the organics industry for all the hard work that has gone into producing both the standard and the strategy. Well done and all the best for the future.

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