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Organic Products Bill A Major Boost For Exporters

Legislation regulating New Zealand's organic sector is about to pass through its final stages in Parliament and will be a major boost for exporters meeting the global demand for safe, 'clean', GE-free organic products. The Organic Products Bill helps bring New Zealand into line with international organic certification under which Genetically Engineered (GE) organisms are prohibited.

The Organic Products Bill aims to give businesses clarity around product claims and to reassure consumers about the integrity of organic production systems. This legislation comes at a time when consumer trust and confidence in brands is becoming increasingly important as a competitive point of difference for New Zealand exports.

For many years, New Zealand exporters from the meat, dairy and horticulture sectors, such as Beef & Lamb, Bostock, and Fonterra, have recognised the market value and appeal of a wider range of products being Organic and GE-Free and benefiting from the GE Free status of New Zealand’s environment. [1] [2]

Lewis Road Creamery and Fonterra’s NZMP range are the first kiwi brands certified by the Non-GMO Project in the USA [3][4]

Some food manufacturers including Bean Supreme and Sanitarium [5] already use 'identity-preservation' in order to maintain a Non-GMO supply chain.

New Zealand supermarket chain Foodstuffs already has a long-established policy to avoid GE ingredients in its Pams range. [6] Countdown has an extensive range of organic foods under its Macro brand. [7]

"New Zealand consumers, producers and exporters can only benefit from legislation that protects the integrity of organic and GE-free systems," said Jon Carapiet, spokesman for GE-Free NZ.

"More exporters should follow Lewis Road Creamery and register as Non-GMO to boost their profile in global markets. Where ingredients might be at risk of contamination by genetically modified variants, they can be replaced by certified organic ingredients."

Consumer demand for GE-free food continues to grow significantly, both locally and in our key export markets, where quality natural, non-GMO products command a premium.

The government's support for producers and exporters of organic and GE-free products is also in line with aspirations for more sustainable and regenerative agriculture.

" We would like to congratulate the government and organic sector who have worked hard to finalise The Organic Products Bill," said Claire Bleakley, president of GE-Free NZ.

"The Government backed Organic label will be able to guarantee consumers, and retailers at home and abroad, they can trust that organically grown food in New Zealand is produced without GMOs. "

References

[1]Beef and Lamb: https://www.meatpoultry.com/articles/21055-new-zealand-breaks-out-us-marketing-campaign-for-its-beef-lamb 
[1} https://www.mpi.govt.nz/funding-rural-support/primary-growth-partnerships-pgps/completed-primary-growth-partnership-pgp-programmes/marbled-grass-fed-beef/

[2] BOSTOCK New Zealand: https://www.bostock.nz/product/apples-organic/

[3] Lewis Road Creamery: https://www.nongmoproject.org/find-non-gmo/verified-products/?brand_id=14526

[4] Fonterra’s GMO Free Statement https://www.fonterra.com/nz/en/about/pages/fonterra-and-gm.html
[4] NZMP brands https://www.dairyreporter.com/Article/2017/04/14/Fonterra-s-NZMP-non-GMO-ingredients-launch
[4] https://www.nongmoproject.org/find-non-gmo/verified-products/?brand_id=10988

[5] Sanitarium: https://www.sanitarium.co.nz/social-purpose/passion-for-plant-based-foods/no-genetically-modified-ingredients

[6] Pams: https://www.pams.co.nz/our-story/sourcing-responsibly/

[7] Woolworths GMO statement: https://www.woolworthsgroup.com.au/page/community-and-responsibility/group-responsibility/responsible-sourcing/Genetically_Modified_GM_Foods

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