The term ‘organic’ gains protection in NZ as landmark law is passed 

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Farmers and growers in New Zealand are celebrating the passing of a new law that will let regulators set standards for what counts as organic products and impose fines on companies that fail to comply.  

New Zealand’s Parliament passed the Organic Products and Production Act, on Thursday 30 March 2023, signalling the end of ten years work by the organic community and policy makers.

“The Organic Products and Production Bill will introduce robust and practical regulation to give businesses the certainty they need to continue to invest in our growing organics sector,” Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said.

“Last year, New Zealand’s primary sector hit a record $53.3b in export earnings. The Government is committed to continuing to support our food and fibre businesses to capitalise on the opportunities presented by international markets. That includes the access we have secured in the UK FTA and the EU FTA.”

“We’re delighted to see organics recognised in law. This has been many years in the making,” said Tiffany Tompkins, CEO of Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ), the peak body for the organic sector.

“The Organic Products and Production Act brings New Zealand a step closer to a robust and internationally recognised organic standard.

“The new law is driven by growing demand for organic products both here and overseas. Consumers want safe, healthy food with high animal welfare standards, that regenerates the land and waterways, and mitigates climate change. Organics ticks all those boxes. 

Brendan Hoare, managing director of Buy Pure New Zealand said: “The term organic is now protected. This means investments to help construct a future that makes a positive contribution to New Zealand’s economy and wider environment now have greater assurance and security. It marks a great opportunity to simultaneously ‘get in behind’ farmers, sequester carbon, enhance biodiversity, make farming fun again and tap into the world’s fastest growing multi food-food sector.”

Main image: New Zealand Parliament. Photo by Koon Chakhatrakan on Unsplash

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