15th April 2021 By Staff Reporter | firstname.lastname@example.org | @foodtickernz
An organics strategy is in the pipeline for Aotearoa as part of a drive to scale the booming sector that has grown 20% since 2017 to reach a current value of $723m.
Organics Aotearoa New Zealand, a membership organisation that represents organic stakeholders and growers from across the country, said that it has secured Ministry for Primary Industry funding to co-ordinate the development of a New Zealand Organic Sector Strategy.
It plans to work in consultation with stakeholders from across the sector to plot a path for growth, which will in turn allow it to play a pivotal role in improving the way food is produced and consumed in NZ it said.
In its 2020/2021 Market report, Time for Action, OANZ said the organic sector generates approximately $620m in export and domestic market revenue, with a further $100m worth of products imported into New Zealand to meet consumer demand.
“This represents an average annual growth rate for organics of 6.4% for the past three years, without incentives or supporting policy frameworks.”
Consumers are increasingly choosing organic products, with a survey revealing that 81% of New Zealanders reported purchasing organic products at least fortnightly. Some 69% of organic purchases are made at the supermarket, with 30% at speciality stores and 1% at farmers market.
The number of producers in the sector has also blossomed, according to the report, which found that there are 105 more certified organics operators since 2017 – up 9%, while the number of certified operations increased by 198 – up 12%.
Despite this recent growth, OANZ chair Chris Morrison and chief executive Viv Williams, identified a need for the industry to scale especially against the backdrop of the Government’s July 2020 roadmap, Fit for a Better World, which has the aim of accelerating the economic potential of the primary sector.
“The organic sector can chart a course for transformative transition through vision, experience with continuous improvement, measured change and a strong connection to consumers,” it said.
The sector is confident it can make an enduring contribution to the Government’s goal of achieving a better world, it added, but to make a significant impact, the sector needs to scale.
“Growing in scale will increase the organic sector’s ability to drive environmental transitions for the better, while expanding its economic contribution through exports and through domestic growth and employment opportunities.”
“The sector is committed to partnering with Government, industry good bodies, NGOs and consumers to see this goal realised.”
OANZ added that to scale up the sector requires policy support and appropriate resourcing.
“With regulatory changes on the way (Organic Products Bill, first carbon budget period, water and RMA reforms), and with increased demand in markets for organic products, the sector has the perfect opportunity to capture a total concept for food production transformation – from the ground up through to the market – which is responsive to consumer and customers’ needs.”
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