Growing New Zealand’s Economy (Certified Organic)

By   /   May 29, 2013  /   4 Comments

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“Nothing shows up our aspirational clean, green brand better than a quantifiable clean, green brand. The potential for New Zealand to be a world leader in this lucrative international market is being held back because the old guard of agriculture are trading on a lie.”

100 Pure NZ Youngest Country on Earth Hongi Screen GrabAgriculture is a cornerstone of both our national economy and our national mythology for the same reason; we’re really good at growing things. It’s the backbone of the country, we are told, but both our economy and our environment would benefit if we focused less on sausages, and more on sirloin.

According to our Prime Minister of Tourism, our “100% Pure” brand is an aspiration, a marketing slogan that nobody seriously expects to take seriously. Environmental complacency aside, this provides a pretty big obstacle for businesses who are, legitimately, 100% Pure. In 2010, the global market for organic food and beverage was worth US$59 billion. Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ)’s Brendan Hoare predicts this will be grow to US$105 billion by 2015. In 2012, New Zealand’s organics market was valued at just NZ$350 million. You don’t have to be a master of the pie graph to realise that there is potential for that to grow exponentially.

So, how is our tourism strategy standing in the way of this rapidly expanding international market? Well, when your regular meat & vegetables are trading on the clean and green image, then you put something certified organic next to it on the table, people start to ask questions. Nothing shows up our aspirational clean, green brand better than a quantifiable clean, green brand. The potential for New Zealand to be a world leader in this lucrative international market is being held back because the old guard of agriculture are trading on a lie.

 

Any government with a long term vision for our country’s economy, and environment, would be doing whatever it could to capitalise on this trend. The wine industry already have a strategy in place to make 20% of its product organic because they see the demand, and the value, and they’re filling it. Pretty basic business, really. Currently only around 1% of our agriculture sector is Certified Organic. Every step we take to increase this adds value for the farming community. Even if we can’t get people on board to save the planet, surely we can convince them to make more money!

Farmers cop a lot of flak from the Green movement, but it is unfair to tar them all with the same brush. Yes, overly intensive farming practices, particularly dairy farming, are bad for the planet and incredibly short-sighted economic development strategies. But there are still a number of farmers capable of seeing the bigger picture, and take their responsibility as guardians of the land seriously. Organic farming is 30% less fossil fuel intensive than industrial agriculture. Fewer toxins on the farm mean fewer toxins leaching into our waterways. There is more money to be made, it future proofs the industry, and it helps give our grandchildren a better shot at being able to live and play on the land.The sooner our government, alongside the farming industry and agricultural scientists, pick this up and run with it, the better off we will all be.

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4 Comments

  1. Gosman says:

    Organic farming is a fad and largely unscientific from a health and nutrition perspective. The environmental benefits of it are also questionable given the fact that you generally need to have much more land converted to farming to produce the same amount of production as the alternative. However by all means push for people to change to organics. Just don’t expect the Government to coerce people to do so.

    • Afencouraging sustainable jobs in sustainable industries ewknowthetruth says:

      Industrial agriculture is a short term aberration in the grand scheme of things, facilitated by cheap [imported] oil and imports of phosphate.
      Since both are in terminal decline industrial agriculture has no future.

    • bbfloyd says:

      The usual non existant, non argument put up by an incurable fossil hugger….. Absolutely nothing relevant to the post…

      One has to wonder if the PM picked tourism because his government have no policy in that area, and so it was the least taxing job for a person without the necessary ability to be a proper minister…

      No prizes for guessing why there isn’t the will to support the branding that we are known for around the world… Being “clean &green” doesn’t figure in their plans for the country, so undermining our image in that area is all just part of the agenda…

      Why bother to go to all that trouble when the general population are there to do no more than service the estates of the “new new zealanders”?.. the ones who will own us, lock, stock, and barrell within a decade, if the agenda is followed without effective resistance…

      it works fine for the French in New Caledonia, and noumea…So it should work here, for “those who count” anyway…

  2. bbfloyd says:

    While Shearer has been making good speeches in the house, and has been covering huge amounts of territory, getting out and connecting with the “flax roots”, and the labour party itself is starting to produce the sort of hard hitting critique of the raiding party’s obvious shortcomings, which is gratifying, to say the least… I have to admit that Shearer still gets caught out looking, and sounding slightly unsure of himself….

    I know that the Murdoch “fourth estate” are doing their best to put everything he says, and does, in the worst possible light, but one can’t help feeling that he should have been front footing the issues for a little while now…

    Those large, and growing numbers of people who are being crushed under the jackboot of nationals ideological, and greed driven agenda are chafing at the bit, waiting for the leader that speaks for them, and their children…

    There need be no procrastination, as it is plainly obvious that the raiding party are no freinds of ordinary New Zealanders, or the egalitarian democracy that was developing, despite the repeated backsliding into reactionary stupidity(electing national party governments)…

    A leader worth his salt should be well aware that they have the support of the majority of right thinking Kiwis to protect future generations from the depridations of national party raids on public money….

    If Shearer is unable to act on that knowledge, and to show the courage of his convictions…To face down the barking dogs of the Murdoch news agencies, and speak with the confidence of one who knows he has the right policies to govern…. A confidence that precludes any need to be “diplomatic” with those who’se aim is to maintain the current shambles, and give them no quarter….

    Appeasement is not the way to deal with reactionary sloganeering…calling it what it is, and deliberately, and obviously bypassing it is the only way to deal with those fools….. and it’s how you gets the credibility needed to mobilise, and empower the masses…