James Rus­sell El­e­ment edi­tor

Element - - CONTENTS -

The Food Mat­ters Con­fer­ence in Welling­ton wrapped up last week, with the (per­haps in­evitable) con­clu­sion that NZ inc could pro­duce higher qual­ity prod­ucts and earn bet­ter coin for it, while less­en­ing the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of do­ing so. More on that next month.

Global sales of or­gan­ics have in­creased by 3500% over the past quar­ter cen­tury, mak­ing it the fastest grow­ing con­sumer food and life­style trend in mod­ern his­tory.

In New Zealand, sales of or­ganic pro­duce has fol­lowed, in­creas­ing by 25% in just the past three years.

We’re sell­ing plenty off­shore too: in De­cem­ber Bay of Plenty based Seeka Ki­wifruit In­dus­tries an­nounced or­ganic re­turns were up more than 400 per cent on 2013, whereas con­ven­tion­ally grown fruit was up 60 per cent.

The re­cent Col­mar Brun­ton Bet­ter Busi­ness, Bet­ter World re­port found that 78% of Ki­wis be­lieved it was ‘im­por­tant for New Zealand to grow and mar­ket or­ganic and GE-free food.” That was up four per cent from 2012.

Mean­while a Se­lect Com­mit­tee has called for the Gov­ern­ment to re­view neon­i­coti­noid pes­ti­cides – used here but par­tially banned over­seas due to ev­i­dence show­ing they may be re­spon­si­ble for bee deaths.

The safety of the use of pes­ti­cides and her­bi­cides and the health benefits of or­gan­ics are end­lessly de­bat­able depend­ing on which re­search you choose to read, but it’s hard to ar­gue with the busi­ness case and the free, global mar­ket­ing strat­egy pro­vided by this coun­try’s scenic beauty. The bees may just thank you for it too.

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