On July 13th, 2013, New Zealand Organic Sector (Organics Aotearoa New Zealand) chairman, former board member IFOAM and Organic Systems founder, Brendan Hoare, visited OABC and exchanged ideas with OABC organic agriculture and Technology Center, Global Sourcing and Organic agriculture fund Department.
Photo of New Zealand Organic Sector President Brendan Hoare and OABC colleagues
New Zealand is a small, rich and beautiful Southern Hemisphere country of 400 million people. Their ecological agriculture development has been at the forefront of the world. It has clean water, air, rainwater which you can even drink.
Brendan Hoare describes current situations of New Zealand organic agriculture, including Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ) functions and modus operandi, New Zealand organic certification bodies, organic product categories and consumer motivation.
Organics Aotearoa New Zealand is committed to the organic industry to provide international leadership and develop an international perspective, their member including organic wines, meat, dairy products, coarse wool, vegetables, honey and personal care products manufacturers and processors, as well as Maori organic tissue - Te Waka Kai Ora. Association's main objective is to integrate resources of New Zealand's organic industry, seek international cooperation, and link the producers and consumers, so that the development of the organic industry has been thriving. When needed, the Association members will stand on the position of initiative, to maintain communication and to strengthen the health of organic agriculture, ecology, fairness, caring four core principles of international recognition.
In 2009, New Zealand organically managed an agricultural area of 124,463 hectares. However, this area is reduced to 106,753 hectares till 2012, As New Zealand farmers are very fragmented, many farmers sell their lands which do not require organic certification as a support, leading some to give up organic certification. In contrast to organic agricultural land decrease, the value of New Zealand's organic market increase. In 2009, the value of New Zealand domestic organic market is 104 million Singapore dollars, the export market 171 million Singapore dollars, so a total 275 million Singapore dollars. In 2012, its domestic production of organic market reach 133 million Singapore dollars, the export market 217 million Singapore dollars, a total of 350 million Singapore dollars.
New Zealand's organic product categories are vegetables, fruits, dairy products, meat, honey, pet food, beverages, cosmetics, etc. Among these products, milk and honey are the most favorable products for Chinese market. In New Zealand, consumer groups of organic products, focus on women aged 25-45, who are well educated and be able to access to information through multi-channels. They concern about health issues and environmental sustainability.
New Zealand has four organic certification organizations - Asure Quality, Demeter New Zealand, BioGro New Zealand and Organic FarmNZ. AsureQuality and BioGro New Zealand are two international certification bodies. In particularly BioGro is the New Zealand¡¯s largest certification body. Currently, New Zealand government has not established organic regulations.
OABC colleagues introduced to Brendan Hoare about OABC philosophy, the technical team, production practices, technology research, industry, communication and so on. Brendan Hoare expresses appreciation (and hope) for the achievement of OABC brand development, OABC¡¯s participation in the entire production value chain to share technical input and ideas and OABC¡¯s promoting organic philosophy. He also hopes that OABC will maintain long-term friendly, exchange ideas about organic technology and cooperation with New Zealand and its high-quality organic products recommended for Chinese consumers.
Recently, OABC technology center cooperate with New Zealand Organic Sector, dubbed "2012 Annual Report of New Zealand organic industry," with Chinese organic industry colleagues to share more information about the development of organic agriculture in New Zealand.