Setting our sights on organic

Bhutan has set the brilliant target of becoming a 100 percent organic in their food production.

Although their target is higher than ours, Green Party policy is to set targets for organic production in New Zealand and we will be continuing to push for this.

New Zealand has great examples of successful organic production across a range of productive sectors, contributing to our clean green 100 percent pure image and to a smart green economy.

As they say in this Guardian blog, for Bhutan to go 100 percent organic will take time and has to be done region by region, crop by crop.

It also has to be done side by side with producers; working with them to establish how to reduce chemical inputs onto their farms while also increasing their profitability.

New Zealand should join Bhutan and other countries such as Sweden, which has met and exceeded an organic target of 10 percent by the year 2000, adjusting it to 20 percent in recognition of the contribution of organics to sustainability including pesticide reduction, community health, and market demand.

5 Comments Posted

  1. Go-Organic, Go-Local, Go-Export-to-Japan! NZ’s domestic market is to small. Export to USA or Japan is the way to Go-Organic. Is the organic lobby ready to get over its “local” illusion. Are we ready to accept that for an agricultural country with more dairy cows than people, Japan is a local market. Go-Organic-Export.

  2. Love organics, all for change in agri system, but the aim of 100% sounds like politics not reality. 10-20% like Sweden would be enough to bring prices down so the market could fuction.
    There are many innovations that don’t fit organic cert but do contribute to envronmental improvement. eg, one climate study in Germany shows slow release N-fertiliser can be more energy efficent than organics, GHG emmission can be minimised. Chem in moderation is not incompatible with biological systems.
    If we has 10-20% organic, conventional farmers would learn alot from there org neighbours, but it’s not just a oneway knowledge exchange, it’s mutrual-beneifical.

  3. So, you think it’s a good idea to set food production not based on consumer demand, rather, you base production on what a political party thinks is “good”?

    If producers see commercially viable levels of consumer demand, they’ll go organic. If they don’t, they won’t. It’s that simple.

    If we set production that isn’t based on demand, then it means farmers go bankrupt. That doesn’t do anyone any good.

  4. “Why is it “brilliant” to have 100% organic production? If it’s brilliant, then farmers will voluntarily adopt it.”
    What an illogical statement.

  5. Why is it “brilliant” to have 100% organic production? If it’s brilliant, then farmers will voluntarily adopt it.

    I suggest to you the reason they don’t is because there is a tiny market for organics and it doesn’t offer the advantages often cited by adherents.

    Grow organics, if you want, but New Zealand should not have production targets as growers need to respond to market signals from *consumers*. Failure to respond to market signals will lead to business failure, lower tax takes, and lower social spending.

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