12 Jul 2011

Beef farmer advocates Pacific native food trade

9:10 pm on 12 July 2011

A Far North organic beef farmer believes a new economy could be opened up if Pacific nations trade native food.

The National Māori Organics Authority is launching an indigenous food label called Hua Parakore. It is already attached to some milk and yoghurt.

Chairperson Percy Tipene says Māori are the sleeping giants of the organics industry and can take the lead in producing organic kai.

He says the native food industry would need to get bigger before there are exports and imports between neighbours such as Papua New Guinea and the Cook Islands.

Mr Tipene says at present, if he wants to sell meat to other countries he cannot do this unless he goes through the New Zealand Meat Board or a big company.

But the farmer says indigenous labelling and marketing would open up a new economy based on indigenous standards.