Hastings District Council has declared the district the first official genetically modified free food producing zone in New Zealand.
Rules in the newly released Hastings District Plan prohibit both the release and field trials of genetically modified crops and animals.
Pure Hawke's Bay has been lobbying to make Hawke's Bay a GM-free region for years, and spokesperson John Bostock said Hastings had joined a growing number of innovative food producing regions that had protected their GM-free status.
"As producers it gives us the opportunity to credibly promote and brand products as coming from a clean, green and uniquely pure GE free region. I think it's got immense value (for marketing) and if you look at the moment, commodity products have been hit particularly hard in recent times while returns for premium and pure products is very strong.
"And it reinforces the view that Hawke's Bay's economic prosperity lies with premium and GE free exports. It all adds to the image of Hawke's Bay as uniquely pure and clean and will definitely add value to our products."