The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has welcomed the signing of an arrangement with China that will benefit the organic food industry for both countries.
The Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Certified Organic Products was signed in China by MPI Director-General Martyn Dunne and by Vice Minister Sun Dawei last week (14 November).
MPI Director Plants Food and Environment, Peter Thomson, says this arrangement supports the growth of the organics industry in New Zealand and provides greater assurance for consumers in New Zealand.
"New Zealand consumers can have increased confidence in organic food imported from China because MPI has assessed the Chinese system and found it to be robust.
"This new arrangement and the assessment required to conclude it, provides MPI with knowledge and confidence in the supply of organic produce from China," says Mr Thomson.
Exports of organic produce to China are currently worth $27 million and are likely to grow with the reduction in compliance costs, and the certainty the arrangement provides New Zealand exporters of organic products.
"Our organic sectors should experience growth, not only with increased export and import opportunities but also a wider range of organic ingredients available for processed foods that would be available for sale domestically and for export," says Mr Thomson.
What you need to know
- The arrangement will take effect from mid-2017 to allow for implementation and industry to get prepared.
- The arrangement excludes aquaculture, apiculture, and textiles.
- All food imported into New Zealand will still need to meet all of our food safety and biosecurity requirements.