by Steffan Browning
Yesterday I co-hosted, with Labour Party MP Damien O’Connor, the launch of New Zealand’s 2012 Organic Market Report.
Organic production is very dear to my heart, having been an organic producer for 16 years. But aside from knowing the realities of the day to day work of being an organic producer, I also know that organics is the future for New Zealand.
Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ) commissioned this research to find out more about the state of the organic market, and they found the news to be great. The market for New Zealand’s organic products has continued to grow, even through the global recession. The authors of the report explained to the more than a hundred and thirty people gathered yesterday that globally the organic sector had average annual growths of 8 percent, New Zealand exports of organics increased by 25 percent over the last 3 years, and international demand continues to increase.
OANZ’s development of a plan for building the organic sector is great news that the Green Party will continue to wholeheartedly support. Organics is smart, green agriculture. It is about looking after the land, the people and the animals because it is the right thing to do and because it is the economically sensible thing to do. It’s about providing our farmers and food producers a good life and a fair income. Something that all New Zealand farmers deserve, especially considering how many are struggling so hard with current droughts.
It was great to have so many positive conversations yesterday with the attendees. I feel that the sector is invigorated to take advantage of the opportunities before them.