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Media Release: 23 March 2020

100% Support for Organic Products Bill’s First Reading  

New Zealand’s Organic Products Bill passed its first reading on Thursday 19 March 2020 with full support from all political parties. The Bill will now advance to the select committee stage where details of the Bill and its pending regulations will be further scrutinized.

The Bill’s objectives are to increase consumer confidence when buying organic products, increase regulation on businesses making claims about organic products, and assist international trade in organic products.

The organic category has come a long way in 20 years and is no longer seen as a fringe by many Members of Parliament. Both National Party’s Barbara Kruger and David Bennett, who is also the Primary Select Committee Chairman, are certified organic dairy farmers and spoke in support of the Bill. All Members of Parliment recognised that certified organic offers market advantage, further environmental benefits and requires a single national standard to ensure consistency throughout New Zealand.

Hon Damien O’Connor, The Minister of Agriculture, acknowledged two previous Green MPs; the late Jeannette Fitzsimons and Steffan Browning for being consistent and persistent. Miniser O’Conner also spoke of his own involvement with organic for two decades and recognised how long it has taken to bring the Bill to Parliament.

“We have as government, a commitment to try and turn our farmers to not only be the best farmers in the world, but for the world. A single organic standard that has integrity, is consistent and backs up their efforts is one major step forward in the process.  It will make sure they have enduring and sustainable farming systems that give them returns for their efforts, protect the environment and make sure we can play our part in feeding the world.” Hon. Damien O’Connor, Minister of Agriculture said during his address.

“This is another major welcomed milestone for the organic sector.” Brendan Hoare Managing Director of Buy Pure New Zealand said. “We have a dedicated government as well as a united parliament and organic sector. As someone who has been instrumental from the inception in bringing this to fruition, I look forward to continuing to work with the whole organic sector across the entire supply chain and government to bring this to life and realise what is best for Aotearoa New Zealand.”

See the below links for further information:

Organic Products Bill First Reading

Organic Products Bill – NZ Parliament