New Zealand organic sector impresses Hong Kong industry group

A visiting horticulture industry group from Hong Kong says it has been impressed by the enthusiasm and passion of those in the New Zealand organic sector.

Forty-two organic growers, retailers, certification managers and government officials from Hong Kong paid a five day visit to New Zealand from 15-19 January to investigate the state of organic and approach to growing the sector in New Zealand.

The tour was led by Jonathan Wong head and Professor of the Department of Biology at Hong Kong Baptist University and Director of the Hong Kong Organic Resource Centre and organised and hosted by Brendan Hoare, Managing Director from Buy Pure New Zealand.

Mr Hoare said the tour was designed to encompass and profile urban farming, retail, wholesale, inter-generational business and corporate approaches to growing the organic sector in New Zealand.

"Our company is very conscious that New Zealand has a unique appeal and cultural approach to organic that the world is interested in," he said.

"Our job is to showcase our expertise and communicate our style to an interested world and make sure we 'hit the mark' by delivering our story in a way that resonates," said Mr Hoare.

He said the Hong Kong guests loved what they saw, heard, tasted and felt.

"All participants were impressed with our emphasis on values and long-term approach to looking after the land, family and the wider environment."

The group spent five days finding out about the New Zealand organic industry.
The group spent five days finding out about the New Zealand organic industry. Photo credit: Supplied

"This was always reflected in the physical appearance of the certified organic properties and business facilities showcased." 

Hong Kong, with a population of over 7 million and a staggering 60 million tourists, has yet to realise the potential of capturing the market for its certified organic local products.

Professor Wong said the visit provided valuable insight. 

"The Kiwi farmers and business people were so passionate about what they did that it reflected not only in the quality of product, but their lifestyle," he said.

"We could not help but feel slightly envious. If we could capture that enthusiasm and market our own wonderful certified organic products better we would benefit greatly from this.

"We all acknowledged this and it gave us a clear plan of action we need to take."

Professor Wong and Mr Hoare have been collaborating for over 12 years and are looking to further the opportunities identified during the tour in 2019.