New Zealand to introduce national standard for organics

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-03 17:53:32|Editor: Yamei
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WELLINGTON, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- A national standard for organic production will be progressed as a government bill next year, New Zealand's Agriculture and Food Safety Minister Damien O'Connor said on Monday.

"A national standard gives consumers confidence in organic claims and businesses certainty to invest and innovate in the growing sector," O'Connor said in a statement.

"It will also help grow our organic export trade as it brings us in line with international approaches to regulation," O'Connor said, adding New Zealand is one of only two of the top 25 organic markets in the world that have voluntary instead of mandatory standards.

The global demand for organic products is increasing and New Zealand's organic sector has responded with growth of 30 percent over the past couple of years, and is now worth about 600 million NZ dollars (415 million U.S. dollars) a year, the minister said.

A majority of public submissions earlier this year supported the government's approach of a single set of rules for organic production.

"We can now move ahead with the changes so our agribusinesses can extract more value from what they do as soon as possible," he said.