21 May 2010

Organic production triples value in four years

2:52 pm on 21 May 2010

New research has measured the significant lift in organic production in New Zealand.

The Otago University study shows certified organic food and beverage products contributed $485 million to the New Zealand economy last year, in domestic sales and exports.

The value has more than tripled in four years.

Chair of the national organics body Derek Broadmore says organics is about halfway to reaching its target of becoming a billion-dollar industry by 2013.

But he says the biggest challenge is trying to meet the international demand for organic products, which is continuing to grow faster than producers' ability to supply it.

Mr Broadmore says the organic sector needs significant outside investment, especially in research, in order to grow its small production base.

Only 1.5% of New Zealand's productive land is in certified organic production, he says, compared with 10% in many of its trading partners.