Organics

Find out about the requirements for producing, selling, or exporting New Zealand-made organic products, or for importing organic products to this country.


What 'organic' means

'Organic' is a labelling term used on products produced in accordance with organic production standards, which may be certified by a certification body or authority.

Organic agriculture is based on minimising the use of external inputs. For example, avoiding or excluding the use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, antibiotics, growth promotants, genetic modification, and irradiation. Organic handlers, processors, and retailers follow voluntary standards to maintain the integrity of organically produced products.

It's important to note that organic certification standards are not food safety standards. Organic products must meet the same food safety standards that apply to all food for sale in New Zealand. Read about MPI's organic food policy and the background behind it:

Requirements for organic products

The requirements your organic operation needs to comply with depend on the market for the organic product.

Selling

Organic products sold in New Zealand need to

  • meet the standard regulatory requirements for the type of product (for example, dairy, honey, and meat)
  • comply with the Fair Trading Act 1986 in respect to using the term 'organic' in labelling and marketing claims.

Exporting

Exported organic products need to

  • meet the standard New Zealand regulatory requirements for the type of product – for example, dairy, honey, or meat
  • meet Official Organic Assurance Programme (OOAP) requirements if being exported under the OOAP
  • meet market access requirements of the country being exported to, where not covered under the OOAP

Importing

All imported organic products need to meet the standard New Zealand legal requirements for imported food. There are also additional requirements, depending on the type of organic product being imported and its final use.

Further information about organics

Find more general information relevant to organic products.

View national and international organics-related websites and organic certification bodies.

Familiarise yourself with any service-related costs you may be required to pay to MPI if operating under the Official Organic Assurance Programme (OOAP).

Access registers and lists including details of exporters and third-party agencies operating under the OOAP.

Browse a list of forms and templates relating to the OOAP.

Related information

Find out more about general food safety requirements you may need to comply with:

Keep up to date

It’s important to keep up with any new or revised organics information, including requirements, consultations, policies, and other content changes.

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