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2 July 2002
The New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA), formerly MAF Food, and the
Organic Products Exporters of New Zealand Incorporated (OPENZ) are thrilled to
announce that after two years work, New Zealand has had its Official Organic
Assurance Programme accepted for organic exports to the European Union (EU) and
has been rewarded with a "third country listing".
The third country listing means that there is a government to government
agreement between the European Commission and the NZFSA (still known as MAF
offshore) for New Zealand organic products exported to European Union member
countries. The programme will simplify access for organic products exported to
the EU, as it will avoid the need for New Zealand exporters to obtain import
licenses from individual states within the EU. It provides an official
government to government assurance to the EU that organic products exported from
New Zealand have been produced under organic rules that are equivalent to the
EU's regulations. As a result NZ's organic exporters will have greater long-term
market access stability in Europe.
OPENZ requested and funded the then MAF to develop and manage the programme
that was successfully negotiated by MAF's Dairy and Plant Products Group in
conjunction with Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials. Director, Tim
Knox, today congratulated the team for their successful effort that has been
achieved in a relatively short time.
"New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world that has third
country listing for such a wide range of products including dairy, fruit, honey
and meat products", Mr Knox said.
The Executive Director of OPENZ, Jon Manhire, welcomed the development.
"We look forward to continuing to work with the NZFSA to improve access
for other key markets", he said.
For further information contact:
NZFSA Communications Manager
Phone: 04 470 2757
Or: OPENZ - Organic Products Exporters of New Zealand Inc
PO Box 292, Christchurch, New Zealand
Tel: 03 344-4081