Organic sales in NZ have grown by 50% a year for the
past 3 years. In 2002, the domestic market for organic
products was valued at NZ$70 million (US$38.5 million); another
$70 million was exported.
Wannabe farmers eager to get on organic bandwagon:
Of NZ’s 80,000 farmers: 700 - 800 are certified organic,
another 10% consider their operations partly organic, and 37%
want to convert to organic within 5-10 years. Data courtesy of
a recent survey conducted by the University of Otago’s Centre
for the Study of Agriculture, Food & Environment.
Growth potential for organic dairy: Although
there are currently just 17 certified organic dairy farms in New
Zealand, the NZ dairy products marketing board says the market
could support up to 250 certified organic dairies.
A six-fold increase in organic acreage: New
Zealand’s largest organic certification group, Bio-Gro certifies
NZ$100 million (US$55 million) of organic product a year. In 2001
Bio-Gro certified 31,185 ha (77,058 ac); AgriQuality, the second-largest
certifier, certified 13,184 ha (32,578 ac); Demeter certified
2,155 ha (5,325 ac). Total certified acreage in NZ has expanded
sixfold since 1997.
A tidal wave of new organic products: NZ’s
first organic standards were drafted in the early 1980s. At that
time there were just a handful of organic products for sale in
stores; today there are more than 3000.
Low-cost certification for small growers: Late
last year the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries began OrganicFarmNZ,
a new program designed to offer low-cost certification to small-scale
producers marketing locally. Run in with help from the Soil &
Health Association of NZ the program is administered by regional
growers and audited by Bio-Gro.
Organic exports zeroing in on half-billion mark:
The Organic Products Exporters Group (OPENZ), predicts organic
exports could be as high as NZ$500 million by the year 2006. Currently
most of NZ’s organic exports go to Europe (41%), followed
by Japan (26%).
Goal of one billion by 2013: The Organic Federation
of Aotearoa New Zealand [Aotearoa is the Maori name for NZ] has
drafted a national strategy for NZ organics setting a financial
target of NZ$1 billion (US$550 mil) total sales by 2013.