New Zealand’s environmental campaigners have hailed the launch of an organic standard as a victory for the country’s organic food industry.

The new standard for organics lays out a standard which producers can use as a benchmark and consumers can recognise as providing products of a certain quality, said Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton.

The organic sector is now intent on implementing the Strategy and has put in place an establishment board that has that responsibility, Sutton said at the launch of the standard.

Green Party MP Ian Ewen-Street said the establishment of national standards for organic produce certification has now put in place the necessary requirements to protect the rapidly expanding organics sector in New Zealand.

“The organics industry now turns over NZ$140m (US$86.1m) per year and has been growing at a rate of over 10% each year for the export sector and an almost unbelievable 100% for the domestic sector,” said Ewen-Street. “The Greens and the organics industry have pushed very hard for the establishment of national organic standards so it’s pleasing to see this huge boost for the industry come to fruition.”