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New Zealand: Organic product sales rise

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Certified organic food and beverage products contributed 485 million NZ dollars* to the New Zealand economy in 2009, according to new research. The New Zealand Organic Report - commissioned by Organics Aotearoa New Zealand OANZ and prepared by the University of Otago - shows the total value of New Zealand's domestic market for organic products has increased to 315 million NZ dollars, with an additional 170 million NZ dollars contributed by organic exports.

The chairman of Organics Aotearoa New Zealand OANZ, Derek Broadmore, said that New Zealand now had 1,145 certified organic farmers, producing on more than 124,000 hectares.**

"New Zealand's organic sector has grown to a total value of NZ $485 million in 2009, up from NZ $330 million in 2007 and NZ $140 million in 2005", Mr Broadmore said.

"This rapid growth shows a continuing concern about what is in our food, and how it is grown.Domestic organic sales are dominated by processed foods - 38% of sales - with fresh fruit and vegetables making up 26% of sales."

"There are also trends towards people buying more local and domestic products at organic specialty stores, and increasing their purchases of fresh products", Mr Broadmore said.

"Increases in sales of organic dairy products (growing almost 400% since 2007) and beverages (430% since 2007) have boosted New Zealand's organic exports."

"The Report also highlights areas of growing interest around organic fibre and textiles, and the role of organics in eco-tourism."

"With demand for organic products continuing to grow through the global financial crisis, New Zealand's organic sector is in a strong position to achieve OANZ's value target of $1 billion by 2013", Mr Broadmore said.

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* Average exchange rate 2009: 1 New Zealand Dollar = 0.45321 Euros = 0.63360 US Dollars

** According to the latest survey on organic agriculture world-wide, 100'000 hectares or 0.81 percent of the country's agricultural land were organic in 2008 (data provided by BioGro New Zealand). The new data thus show a strong increase of the organic area.

Organic Monitor comment

Organic Monitor, the UK based market research company, comments: New Zealand has done well to nurture its organic products industry. The domestic market for organic products has strengthened whilst exports have also increased. The challenge will be for New Zealand companies to continue to increase organic product exports, especially since many countries are experiencing oversupply. Domestic demand may have to absorb a significant portion of the NZ $1 billion target of organic product sales.

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