Exports of certified organic produce to China are currently worth $93 million and are likely to grow due to reduced compliance costs, Organic Exporters Association chair Andrew Henderson says.
Exports of New Zealand’s organic products to China could double within two years following an agreement between the two nations.
NZ has agreed a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) for organic product certification with China – a step that could open up the Chinese market for more NZ organic exporters.
It means organic products certified to MPI’s Official Organic Assurance Programme will be eligible for export to China and labelled as organic.
“The arrangement will support the growth of the New Zealand organics sector by providing increased export and import opportunities,” MPI manager plant, wine and organic assurance Marion Castle said.
“Exports of certified organic produce to China are currently worth $93 million and are likely to grow due to reduced compliance costs and the increased certainty and facilitation that the arrangement provides New Zealand exporters,” Organic Exporters Association chair Andrew Henderson said.
Association executive director Rick Carmont said certification of compliance costs for export to the Chinese market will no longer be significant and exports of NZ organic products to China could double within two years.
“There are many small and medium-sized organic businesses with strong interest in exporting to China, but due to the cost of compliance they have been waiting for this new MRA pathway to open,” Carmont said.
“For example, under the present regime every organic dairy farmer who has milk destined for China has to be visited by a Chinese recognised certifier every year. This will be phased out.”
He said implementation reflects an extensive amount of work by MPI, the Organic Exporters Association of NZ, and Chinese authorities.
“It’s truly been a joint effort to reach the stage of implementing the MRA. We’re excited at the prospects for our organic export industry.”