New Zealand's organics sector is continuing to grow, with demand for organic dairy a big driver of the lift.
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Organics Aotearoa New Zealand chairperson Chris Morrison. Photo: RNZ /Susan Strongman

An Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ) report shows the industry is now worth around $723 million a year – up from $600 million in 2017.

Dairy products are the largest part of the sector with exports worth nearly $154 million – followed by fruit and vegetables and organic wine.

Organic dairy products are now the largest part of the sector with exports worth nearly $154 million – followed by fruit and vegetables and organic wine.

Organics Aotearoa New Zealand chairperson Chris Morrison said 58 percent of the organic sector is exported but there is huge demand domestically with 42 percent of product consumed here.

“Consumers are becoming more demanding and educated and are looking for healthy food without harmful pesticides and herbicides, so I think that’s a big driver as well as awareness of the effects food production has on the environment,” Morrison said.

Demand for organic products would continue to grow, making more producers looking towards converting to organic, he said.

“It is a commitment to convert from conventional to organic and there is a cost but the upside is returns at the other side – people pay a premium for organics.

“In 2020 organic dairy farmers received a payout of $10.19 per kilogram of milk solids vs $7.19 for non-organic – a market record for NZ,”

OANZ is – alongside the Ministry for Primary Industries – working on a strategy for organics in New Zealand which will look at how to grow the sector going forward.

Anik Dairy, owned by dairy major Lactalis Group, has named SubhashisBasu as its new chief executive officer.

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