Winegrowers in Central Otago are embracing organic practices at a rate that “punches above their weight”.
Domestic market sales also rose -- to $254m, bringing total sales to just on $600m.
Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ) last week unveiled the results of its three-yearly survey at a function at parliament attended by growers, processors and supermarkets.
Fresh fruit and vegetables remain the largest export earner at nearly $136m; then dairy, meat and wool $99.5m; and wine and beer $46.5m.
OANZ chief executive Brendan Hoare says great opportunities exist for NZ organic producers: the world wants what NZ has to offer and we have the capability to grow our share of the global market.
“The report articulates a national and global mood for change to natural, ethical, sustainable food and other daily used products. Consumers want change so they can live their values, producers and farmers are seeking change to do what is good for the land they love, and global markets are demanding greater and greater choice as organic goes mainstream,” he says.
Hoare says producers and manufacturers are listening to the market signals: at least 50% of producers surveyed are interested in getting full organic certification or transitioning towards organic.
The number of certified-organic operations is up 12% to 1118 licensees and 1672 certified enterprises, and land under organic production has increased 17% to almost 89,000ha due to a 50% growth in organic livestock area.