21 Apr 2015

Organic sector feels let down

6:29 am on 21 April 2015

The organics sector is feeling let down over efforts to get protection for its products on the domestic market.

The national umbrella body, Organics Aotearoa New Zealand, says it has been talking to the Primary Industries Ministry for more than a year about the need for regulations to protect certified organics producers from what the industry says is a flood of falsely-labelled products on the local market.

But OANZ chair Brendan Hoare said it had been told by the Ministry that it was not a priority and that it would not commit to any further discussions on the issue until 2017.

"The organic sector's got bigger now than the consumer protection labelling can work with and they've identified and agree with us that it was worth an investigation. We did that we've proved that there are endless cases of fraudulent claims of product being organic."

"Our endeavour is to regulate that, get up to speed. New Zealand is one of the last OECD countries to regulate organic (products). It was really only post-election that things didn't start going so well for us with MPI and they've told us that it's basically irrelevant now to them, it does not fit their work plan and is not a priority," Mr Hoare said.

He said the organics sector won't be giving up though.

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