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Organic Agriculture in Oceania 2011

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

Key data

Altogether, there are 8'466 producers, managing 12.2 million hectares.

This constitutes 2.8 percent of the agricultural land in the area and 33 percent of the world’s organic land.

Ninety-nine percent of the organic land in the region is in Australia (12 million hectares, 97 percent of which is extensive grazing land), followed by New Zealand (124’000 hectares), and Vanuatu (8'996 hectares).

The highest shares of all agricultural land are in Samoa (7.9 percent), followed Vanuatu (6.1 percent), the Solomon Islands (4.3 percent), and Australia (2.9 percent).

The market

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. In Australia it was at 947 Australian dollars in 2009 and in New Zealand at 350 million New Zealand dollars.

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. Now that the Australian Standard has been published, the organic industry and the authority in charge, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, are working towards a situation where one standard can be used for the domestic and export market.

The year 2010 marked a milestone for the Pacific Region as the International Organic Accreditation Service (www.ioas.org) has assessed the Pacific Organic Standard (POS) and found it to be equivalent to the standards requirements of the European Union’s organic regulations. This means that, according to the IOAS, the Pacific Organic Standard is suitable for use by conformity assessment bodies in the Pacific region as a standard for the certification of operators who may wish to export products to the European Union.