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Organic agriculture in Oceania 2014 (Data 2012)


This region includes Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Island states including Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, and Vanuatu, among others. Altogether, there were more than 14’600 producers, managing 12.2 million hectares. This constitutes 2.9 percent of the agricultural land in the region and 32 percent of the world’s organic land. More than 98 percent of the organic land in the region is in Australia (12 million hectares in 2009, 97 percent of which is extensive grazing land), followed by New Zealand (106’000 hectares), and Samoa (33’500 hectares).

The highest shares of all agricultural land are in Samoa (11.8 percent), followed by French Polynesia (5.5 percent), Australia (2.9 percent, 2009) and Vanuatu (2.2 percent). Growth in the organic industry in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands has been strongly influenced by rapidly growing overseas demand; domestic sales are, however, also growing. In Australia, the domestic market was valued at 1.2 billion Australian dollars in 2012  and in New Zealand at 130 million New Zealand dollars (2012).  

In Australia, there have been no significant changes to the administration of domestic standards and certification procedures. In 2013, seven certification agencies continue to be accredited by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF). Independent market analysis notes that organic farming has been one of the economy's best performing industries over the past five years. In 2012, around half of the returns from organic holdings were derived from livestock. Despite very limited government support for organic farming, Organic Trust Australia - Research and Education continues to develop opportunities for the co-funding of research projects through sponsorships, donations, and support for grant applications.

In the Pacific Islands, most of the organically certified products are produced for export. The main international markets for the exported organic products are Australia and New Zealand, due to their proximity. Other markets include North America, the European Union, and Japan. Generally, the domestic markets for certified organic products are not very developed, and in some cases, are non-existent. With a boost in resources for the Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community to implement activities and move towards the goals articulated in the Strategic Plan 2013–2017, momentum for growth in the organic sector has increased through 2013. Moreover, with the implementation of the Pacific Organic Guarantee System, growth will continue through 2014. The decision by the Heads of Agriculture and Forestry Services and the Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry to mainstream organics into agriculture strategy development and planning also provides a solid base for the continued expansion of the organic sector in the Pacific Islands.