Farmers and growers interested in making the shift to organic production can now connect with Organics Aotearoa New Zealand's Organic Advisory Programme by calling 0800 FUTURE.
"The Organic Advisory Programme, administered by Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ), is launching 0800 FUTURE as a single point of contact for producers interested in finding out what making the shift to certified organic production would mean for them" said Dr Jon Tanner, OANZ Chief Executive Officer.
The launching of 0800 FUTURE on World Environment Day reflected the increasing concern about the sustainability of contemporary agricultural practices, he said.
Certified organic production is internationally recognized as being at the leading edge of sustainable farming - increasing biodiversity, improving soil and water quality and removing energy-intensive artificial fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, he said.
OANZ's Organic Advisory Programme delivers information on 'best practice' organic production, as well as operating 'Smart Start' - a part-funded on-farm consultation which allows those considering switching to organics to make an informed choice, by outlining the differences, opportunities and processes for organic production.
"OANZ believes that the future of farming for New Zealand is in high-value niche products, particularly certified organics, which frequently command premium prices."
Internationally, the organic food and beverage market is valued at over $40 billion a year, with organic producers contributing more than $330 million to New Zealand's economy in 2007 Dr Tanner said.