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Organic Agriculture in Oceania 2010

This region includes Australia, New Zealand, and island states like Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Vanuatu.

Key figures

Altogether, there are 7'749 producers, managing more than 12.1 million hectares (data 2008).

This constitutes 2.8 percent of the agricultural land in the area and 35 percent of the world’s organic land.

Ninety-nine percent of the organically managed land in the region is in Australia (12 million hectares, 97 percent of which is extensive grazing land), followed by New Zealand and Vanuatu.

Growth in the organic industry in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands has been strongly influenced by rapidly growing overseas demand; domestic markets are, however, also growing.

Standards and regulations

The biggest change in the Australian domestic market over 2009 was that the Australian Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Products was adopted and published by Standards Australia. In New Zealand, a National Organic Standard was launched in 2003. In the past, government support for organic agriculture in Australia was restricted to some support for export standards, certification and some research. In 2009, the Primary Industries Ministerial Council made a statement that the state and territories’ governments should recognize the increasing importance of organic agriculture in the Australian environment and national economy, while acknowledging the key role of the Organic Federation of Australia as the peak body in unifying the Australian organic sector.

In New Zealand, through the establishment of the sector umbrella organization Organics Aotearoa New Zealand, and through the New Zealand Organic Sector Strategy as well as other initiatives, there is political recognition of the benefits of organic agriculture. (See chapters on Australia and New Zealand by Els Wynen, page 200; and Seager Mason, page 203 in the edition 2010 of The World of Organic Agriculture..