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Organics Aotearoa NZ Applauds Minister Damien O’ConnorFor Introducing Organics Product Bill

Minister Damien O'Connor has introduced the Organics Product Bill that, if passed, will create a national standard for organics and will bring New Zealand into line with its major trading partners.

Wellington, NZ (1 March, 2020) - Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ) is delighted that the Government has introduced the Organic Products Bill to Parliament. Chris Morrison and Viv Williams - Chair and CEO respectively of OANZ - were pleased to attend the celebration of the Bill’s introduction to Parliament at Mark White’s organic kiwifruit farm in Opotiki. Mark White, a former OANZ board member, has been instrumental in promoting this Bill to Government.

The organic market is burgeoning. Globally it is one of the fastest growing food sectors. According to market research, the global organic food and beverages market stood at US$165.52 B in 2018 and is anticipated to reach US$679.81 B by 2027. In New Zealand the organic sector grew by 30% in three years and in 2017 had sales of over $600 MM (2018 New Zealand Organic Sector Market Report). The increased focus on climate issues continues to draw consumer interest towards products that are produced ethically and organically. OANZ sees it as essential that this sector is properly regulated to protect the integrity of organic production.

This legislation is designed to give national standards to organic regulations and will bring New Zealand into line with its major trading partners. Internationally this will enable easier access across global markets. In New Zealand it protects the use of the term Organic. This requires all organically-labeled products, whether imported or produced domestically, to achieve the national standard.

New Zealand largely rests on its reputation for healthy agricultural products. This legislation will help underline and protect that reputation internationally and underline New Zealand’s strong eco- credentials.

Chris Morrison, Chair of OANZ commenting on the proposed legislation said, “It’s fantastic that the Government have recognised the importance of organics not only to the consumer but also to the overall economic security and future of farming in New Zealand.”

OANZ has been working with the Government and MPI to introduce this legislation for the past two years. Chris Morrison says, “OANZ will be participating in the consultation process with Government to help ensure that we get regulations that meet the needs of all our members.”

OANZ is the national voice of the organic sector and represents a diverse membership of organic producers, processors, suppliers, wholesalers and retailers. Its mission is to provide leadership and collaboration for organic regenerative policies that are good for the health of New Zealand’s people, its communities, environment and economy.

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