Organics best hope for doubling value of exports by 2025 - without harming the environment
Media Release 25 August 2014
Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ) Chair Brendan Hoare has just sent an open letter to all parliamentary party leaders (attached) asking each party to focus on the fact that if New Zealand is to have any hope of achieving its current strategic goal of doubling the value of primary exports by 2025, it has to significantly increase the level of organic export production.
"World demand for organic products far exceeds supply in most categories " says Mr Hoare, "and it is growing fastest in our significant Asian markets. With such strong demand organic primary products are attracting big premiums - even as high as 300% over non-organic. The additional beauty of growing the organic sector is that it can be done without damaging the natural environment - a cost born by the public from polluting forms of farming."
The letter gives the figures to back OANZ's claims - and also shows just how much New Zealand is lagging behind the rest of the world in developing this win-win farming and export alternative.
"Just over 1% of New Zealand's farm land is farmed organically," Mr Hoare said. "That compares with nearly 3% for Australia - and much higher percentages for most European countries. Other countries have governments that have been backing organics with assistance for research, development and marketing for the past decade, leading to a doubling in capacity. The organic sector in New Zealand, in contrast, has had no new investment or support in over seven years, and hence has failed to reach its potential."
"OANZ's letter asks the political parties to look at what other countries are doing to grow their organic sectors. The investment is sound; it will provides economic growth and improve key environmental indicators so important for both domestic and international markets. It is OANZ's hope that they will all see why backing organics makes sense. We hope to work constructively with whoever is in the next government to make positive changes in the best interests of New Zealand."