[19 June/ NZ Farmers Weekly]
Organic farmers are looking to the government to regulate the sector to ensure the use of the word organic is protected. The message was conveyed clearly to the Primary Production Select Committee when it made a recent visit to the Hawkes Bay and met with organic producers. CEO of Organics Aotearoa NZ, Brendan Hoare, said the sector was growing at 11% per annum and was worth more than $0.5 billion to the economy but the sector needs the government to provide the necessary protection experienced in other markets. The industry is looking for a single national standard to protect the use of the word organic, something Mr Hoare suggests will provide greater efficiency and clarity for consumers. Growers suggested that it was unbelievable that there is not already an organic standard in New Zealand and implementing a regulation would give greater credibility and trust.