Or­ganic sec­tor jewel of the in­dus­try

The Orchardist - - What’s New - By Don­ald Nor­deng

A healthy hor­ti­cul­ture in­dus­try is crit­i­cal to New Zealand’s eco­nomic and so­cial de­vel­op­ment. How­ever, the real jewel of the in­dus­try is the or­ganic sec­tor as it is one of our fastest grow­ing and emerg­ing ex­port prospects.

Con­sumers (both here and in­ter­na­tion­ally) are recog­nis­ing the value of buy­ing or­ganic, whether this is for per­sonal or wider so­cial rea­sons. They are en­er­gised by the prospects of health­ier al­ter­na­tives, a bet­ter lifestyle and pre­serv­ing the en­vi­ron­ment. New Zealand’s fer­tile soils and in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised clean, green im­age make it an ideal place to grow or­gan­i­cally.

The global or­gan­ics mar­ket is ex­pected to reach $104.5bil­lion US dol­lars by the end of 2015. In the US alone, the Or­ganic Trade As­so­ci­a­tion re­cently re­ported that the or­ganic food in­dus­try jumped 11% in 2014 to­talling $39 bil­lion US dol­lars. Fresh fruit and veg­gies ac­counted for 12% of all or­ganic pro­duce sold in the na­tion.

Although the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket place is awash with more or­ganic al­ter­na­tives then here in New Zealand, kiwi at­ti­tudes to­wards sus­tain­abil­ity and or­gan­ics are chang­ing.

Or­gan­ics is a trend that has been qui­etly gath­er­ing steam over the last few years, es­pe­cially amongst younger gen­er­a­tions. In 2012, 74% of New Zealan­ders be­lieved it was im­por­tant for NZ to grow and mar­ket pro­duce that is GE free. This jumped to 78% by 2014. The num­ber of ev­ery­day ki­wis who buy or­ganic in some form has risen to 72%. Fresh fruit and veg­gies, fol­lowed by dairy are lead­ing the way for or­ganic pur­chases.

The rise in global de­mand for or­ganic prod­ucts presents nu­mer­ous fi­nan­cial and busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties for New Zealand grow­ers. Many have al­ready tran­si­tioned to or­ganic pro­duc­tion for this rea­son. How­ever, the fi­nan­cial op­por­tu­ni­ties are not the only rea­son grow­ers are tran­si­tion­ing to or­ganic. With its en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits, there is room for grow­ers to con­trib­ute to a larger share in feed­ing the world sus­tain­ably. The or­gan­ics in­dus­try is look­ing strong for fu­ture growth, es­pe­cially as food safety mea­sures around the world are com­ing un­der re­view and much scru­tiny. Based on the cur­rent cli­mate, it has never been so im­por­tant to au­then­ti­cate your prod­ucts as safe, sus­tain­able and trace­able. Or­ganic cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is the world’s most widely-used, se­cure and im­per­me­able trace­abil­ity sys­tem. New Zealand’s ma­jor ex­port mar­kets (Europe, Canada, the US and Ja­pan) all have or­ganic reg­u­la­tions in place. This means, to ex­port into these key or­gan­ics mar­kets, ex­porters need to seek cer­ti­fi­ca­tion from an in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­cred­ited third­party cer­ti­fier like BioGro. Es­tab­lished in 1983, BioGro was the first cer­ti­fi­ca­tion agency in New Zealand and one of the first in the world. As New Zealand’s largest cer­ti­fi­ca­tion body, BioGro is ac­cred­ited by nine ma­jor in­ter­na­tional mar­kets and author­i­ties to carry out or­ganic cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. This en­ables grow­ers to ex­port their pro­duce through­out the world. BioGro-cur­rently cer­ti­fies over 650 pro­duc­ers, farm­ers and grow­ers through­out New Zealand and the Pa­cific. In 2013 -2014, an av­er­age net weight of 29,919,298 kg of BioGro cer­ti­fied pro­duce was ex­ported over­seas to help feed the grow­ing in­ter­na­tional de­mand. BioGro cer­ti­fied grow­ers dif­fer in size and com­mer­cial pro­duc­tiv­ity. We cer­tify ev­ery­one from small lifestyle blocks to large com­mer­cial oper­a­tions in­clud­ing JB Or­gan­ics, Seeka, Ze­spri and DM Palmer. Cer­ti­fied or­ganic farm­ers work hard to min­imise their en­vi­ron­men­tal foot­print while pro­duc­ing high­qual­ity, healthy and nu­tri­tious pro­duce. T&G have now also ac­cepted BioGro cer­ti­fi­ca­tion as an al­ter­na­tive to other qual­ity as­sur­ance pro­grammes, mak­ing it eas­ier for grow­ers to ac­cess New Zealand’s do­mes­tic mar­ket. If you are a grower in­ter­ested in BioGro cer­ti­fi­ca­tion,we of­fer ini­tial con­tact meet­ings for new ap­pli­cants. Head to the BioGro web­site, or con­tact us to find out more. Our mis­sion is to as­sist any­one look­ing to be­come cer­ti­fied or­ganic ev­ery step

of the way.

Hor­ti­cul­ture is among New Zealand’s pow­er­house in­dus­tries as it cur­rently ac­counts for 8% of our to­tal ex­ports.

New Zealand res­i­dent: NZ$105 (GST in­clu­sive) Aus­tralia & Pa­cific: NZ$185 (air­mail de­liv­ery)

Rest of the World: NZ$195 or US equiv­a­lent (air­mail)

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If it’s fresh pro­duce in New Zealand, we have it cov­ered

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