9 Sep 2014

Lift needed in organic export market

3:33 pm on 9 September 2014

The growth of the organic export production is being pushed as a way of helping the Government's goal of doubling primary sector exports by 2025.

New Zealand's organic market is worth about $350 million and exports take up a large chunk of that, at about $220 million.

With the election campaign running, Organics Aotearoa New Zealand has sent a letter to political party leaders, asking them to consider organic exports as a way to reach the 2025 target.

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Photo: PHOTO NZ

Chair of Organics Aotearoa New Zealand Brendan Hoare, said New Zealand is lagging behind others.

"At the moment, about 1.1 percent of our business is certified organic, which is way behind the rest of the world and in OECD countries, and if it wants to achieve an export double strategy and then one true lever to pull is the biological certified organic lever and we offer that. Markets demand, markets want New Zealand brand association, but they want more than that. It has to be third-party verified, internationally accredited. We get very clear signals - they like it pesticide-free, non-GMO, and certified organic delivers on all of those".

But Brendan Hoare said Government support is needed to help lift organic exports.

"They need to support us in public good, they need to support us with research, they need to support us in our endeavor into forging new markets. They've being doing bits and pieces of that, but it needs to be a concerted effort and part of that strategy - get us around the table talking to other sectors that are wanting to go biological, other sectors are wanting to come our way and there is a lot in which we can offer.

So they need to recognise our expertise and we want them around the table and to talk about that really positively. It is a really good thing for New Zealand and we want to be part of that leadership group".