Agriculture and Food Safety Minister, Damien O’Connor has put forward a proposal for a National Organic Standard to be consulted on.
BioGro have been working hard, alongside Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ), The Organic Exporters Association of New Zealand (OEANZ), Soil & Health Association, Organic Farm New Zealand (OFNZ), NZ Biodynamics Association, AsureQuality, MPI and several others within the Organic Sector to see an official standard and regulations implemented here in New Zealand.
BioGro Chief Executive Donald Nordeng stresses the importance for this implementation to take place, and is calling on the sector to ensure they have their say by issuing a submission to MPI or attending public meetings happening across nine regions.
“Organics has been around in New Zealand for an extremely long time, with one of the oldest organic organisations in the world established here in 1941, and certification itself has been available for 35 years when BioGro was first recognised,” Nordeng says
“Consumers are increasingly turning to sustainable and ethical choices as they become more conscious of their options – and ‘organic’ is a term that is becoming increasingly understood as a solution.”
BioGro is New Zealand’s largest certifier, currently certifying over 700 producers, farmers and manufacturers across 20 different sectors within New Zealand and across the Pacific.
“The sector continues to grow significantly as a response to the national and global demand, but without regulation this creates barriers and uncertainty – yet organics is all about transparency”.
“Without regulation, it is possible for a product to use the term organic on their packaging, even if it’s far from the truth. Not only is this confusing for consumers, but it’s also of concern to the hundreds of certified organic producers that invest a lot of time and effort to ensure their products are genuinely organic”.
The Ministry of Primary Industries has issued a discussion paper inviting comments to be made by Monday 11th June at 5pm. This can be done via email, through a submission form or by writing in – and it’s something BioGro is urging everyone to do in order to continue this process in a positive direction.