Organic Dairy and Pastoral Group chairman Glenn Mead says
the results of the latest research report on the organic sector
are ''very encouraging''.
Organic Market Report 2012, which was launched recently,
showed the total organic market (export and domestic sales
together) had grown from $275 million in 2009 to $350 million
Mr Mead, an Otago farmer, said demand for organic products
continued to grow and New Zealand was well placed to deliver
more high quality foods from sustainably-managed grasslands.
However, the organic pastoral sector was facing challenges in
marketing meat products overseas and in supporting organic
dairy farmers, he said.
In the 10 years from 2002 to 2012, the total land area under
certification increased by 128%.
In 2012, it was 106,753ha, which represented a decline from
124,463ha in 2009.
By 2012, there were more than 100 vineyards growing grapes
organically, representing 7.6% of all grapevines.
The land area under organic livestock production was 92,522ha
in 2012 - a 14.8% decline since 2009.
Fresh fruit and vegetables were still the most important
product by value, accounting for more than $96 million (45%)
of total exports.
Dairy products continued to be the second largest export
category and the value of organic dairy exports has grown 33%
Europe, North America and Australia continued to be the
sector's primary export destinations, however there had been
significant growth in the export value to Asia.
Two key areas of focus had been identified from the report
for Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ) to focus on over the
next two years, OANZ chairman Brendan Hoare said.
The first was communication around what ''organic'' meant,
and the opportunities for health and wealth it presented for
both producers and consumers.
The second was the need to explore ways to ''prevent the
consistent and persistent misuse of the term `organic' in the
marketplace'', Mr Hoare said.