Organic agricultural exports are expected to gross around NZ$64m (US$26.9m) this year, according to a new report Organics: New Opportunities for the Future presented to Parliament by the primary production committee.
The committee notes that for the year to 31 March, organic produce accounts for just 0.5% of the total agricultural exports. The sector is growing at about 50% a year however and annual receipts from the sector are projected to reach NZ$500m (US$210m) in the next few years. The report adds that New Zealand is well placed to capitalise on the global consumer trend for organic produce, because of the methods commonly employed in food production in the country.
The sector needs however to improve financial returns during conversion to organic production and increase access for producers to technical information and advisory services. The report also recommends that the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry collate marketplace data and product information.
The predominant organic exports from New Zealand include fresh fruit and vegetables. The country also exports organic meat and wool.