Talks are underway to allow overseas veterinarians into the country and help ease an acute shortage.
The Organic Products Bill, introduced by agriculture minister Damien O’Connor, provides a framework for the development of standards for all organic products in New Zealand.
It sets requirements for all businesses involved in the production through to the sale of organic products, with the sole exception of retailers of pre-packaged products.
The Government says the purpose of the bill is to:
• increase consumer confidence in the purchasing of organic products,
• increase certainty for businesses making organic claims,
• facilitate international trade in organic products.
Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ) has been working with the Government and MPI to introduce the legislation for the past two years.
The national representative of the organic sector says it is delighted about the bill’s introduction to Parliament.
“It’s fantastic that the Government have recognised the importance of organics not only to the consumer but also to the overall economic security and future of farming in New Zealand,” says Chris Morrison, chair of OANZ.
“OANZ will be participating in the consultation process with Government to help ensure that we get regulations that meet the needs of all our members.”