A group representing New Zealand's organic sector is welcoming progress on a national standard for the industry.
The Minister of Agriculture and Food Safety Damien O'Connor is to move forward with the next legislative steps towards defining a single national organic standard, underpinned by regulation.
- Organic food too expensive? Grow your own mushrooms on a log
- Organic whisky distillery launched at Lammermoor Station in central Otago
The move is being seen as putting New Zealand's organic sector on the same footing as many other countries.
"We appreciate the Government and Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) officials responding swiftly to the feedback from the extensive consultation process undertaken earlier this year," said Doug Voss, Chair of OANZ, the national umbrella organisation and advocate for the country's organic sector.
"We are delighted that our sector's voices have been heard, and we are moving to the next phase in drafting a Bill to define a national standard that is enforceable, of what constitutes authentic, certified organic products from New Zealand," he said.
Mr Voss said OANZ will continue working collaboratively and constructively with the Government and other interested parties to ensure that the long overdue regulatory framework to bring New Zealand on par with most other countries progresses.
"Market drivers demand that New Zealand provides customers, consumers and the community domestically and internationally with certainty and credence that certified organic products from here are indeed the real deal," said Mr Voss.
The New Zealand organic sector has grown 30 percent or 10 percent a year since 2015, to now be worth $600 million and growing - buoyed by increasing global and domestic demand.
Damien O'Connor said the national standard for organic production will be progressed as a Government Bill next year, "so our agribusinesses can extract more value from what they do as soon as possible."