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NZ organic market now $330 million a year

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New Zealand’s domestic and export markets for certified organic food and beverages are now worth more than $330 million, according to research conducted by the University of Otago on behalf of Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ).

“Growth in organic food and beverage exports has been solid, with strong growth in the domestic market” said Associate Professor Hugh Campbell,  Otago University Study of Agriculture, Food and Environment centre director.

Hugh Campbell today released the results of his survey at the national Organic Sector Conference, being held at Lincoln University (August 17-19, 2007) 

NZ organic exports worth $120 million
Exported organic food products are now worth $120 million a year to New Zealand’s economy, with the domestic market worth an additional $210 million, said OANZ Executive Director, Ken Shirley.

“In addition, the demand for non-food organic products is increasing. These include fibre-based products, personal care items and eco-tourism based on organic products.

20 per cent growth globally
Organic sales globally last year were valued at $60 billion, with many international markets growing by more than 20% per year. Today’s figures show that New Zealand is well on track towards our goal of boosting the organic sector to $1 billion a year by 2013, he said.

“Consumers are demanding goods produced by environmentally friendly and sustainable methods. Certified organic production offers New Zealand key advantages in health, the environment and trade."

Around 1.1% of New Zealand’s total food retail market is now organic, but there is still room for growth. Organic food represents more than 3% of the total food market in European countries such as Denmark, he said.

36 % more NZ land organic 
Growth in the organic market has been matched by an increase in the land used for certified organic production. More than 63,883 hectares of New Zealand has now been certified organic – 36% more than was certified in 2002.

A major contributor to this growth has been the increase in land certified for livestock – up 31% since 2002. This reinforces what OANZ already suspected – that organic meat and dairy are significant growth areas, alongside New Zealand’s traditional strength in organic fruit exports.

Organic systems produce premium products, which attract premium prices. This research reinforces that certified organic production is a serious commercial option, and one which is playing an increasingly important role in New Zealand’s economy, Mr Shirley said.

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