The New Zealand organic sector is rapidly growing. It is now worth over half a billion dollars. This has prompted claims from industry leaders that the organic sector has gone mainstream.
A new report from Organics Aotearoa New Zealand claimed that the national and international demand for New Zealand organic fruit and vegetables saw the sector grow 30 per cent since 2015. The sector is now worth around $600m.
The organic market is now the fastest-growing multi-food sector in the world.
Brendan Hoare, the OANZ chief executive, said it showed organics was no longer a niche market. There was a strong national and even international desire for change to natural, ethical and sustainable food products. Research from the report demonstrated that sales of organic products are growing twice as fast as conventional 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. Global markets are demanding greater and greater choice as organic goes mainstream.”
The report from OANZ analysed the New Zealand organic market using a mixture of data. Mainly, census questionnaires of exporters and speciality organic food stores as well as data from AC Nielson.
The national market is now worth $245 million per annum. That means around eight out of 10 New Zealand shoppers buy organic food (fresh, frozen or packaged) at least fortnightly. The report also stated that just under half of those they studied, said that they purchase organic products because they have concerns for the environment and its sustainability.
The main export markets identified for the organic sector are Europe, North America and Australia, which comprise 69 per cent of all exports.
“The report clearly indicates that Kiwis want to be part of the global movement towards sustainability. At a time when humanity grapples with the complexity of global environmental, economic, social and health issues, organic continues to offer a solution that is profoundly simple,” Hoare said.
Hoare believes that the next step for the organic sector is to build a New Zealand wide – national, organic strategy to harness the desire for change. From there, we can step up to become a leader in organic production and marketing.
To read the full report by Organics Aotearoa New Zealand; See Here