The New Zealand organic sector has grown 30 per cent or 10 per cent a year since 2015 to now be worth $600 million, buoyed along by consumers, here and globally, demanding natural, ethical products that are good for them and their families.
The 2018 OANZ Organic Market Report, released today, shows retail sales of organic products are growing twice as fast as conventional products, up 8.8% to $245 million.
While supermarket, grocery and specialty store organic sales are still small as a percentage of total sales, the findings show that Kiwi consumers are taking organic mainstream.
Independent research in the report shows that eight out of 10 Kiwi consumers are buying organic fresh, frozen or packaged food and beauty products at least fortnightly, citing care for the health and wellbeing of themselves and their families as the key motivation. Just under half (48%) say they purchase organic products because they are concerned for the environment and sustainability.
Exports too are booming, up 42 per cent since 2015 to $355 million, as consumers in Asia, including China, North America and Europe seek out New Zealand organic fruit, vegetables, dairy, meat, wool and wine, and natural beauty and bodycare products.
“The 2018 report findings reporting market growth of 15 per cent a year tell us loud and clear that opportunity lies before us,” says OANZ CEO, Brendan Hoare. “The world wants what New Zealand has to offer, and we have the capability to grow our share of the global market where the organic food segment alone is worth EUR85b and is growing at 10.5 per cent a year.
“The report articulates a national and global mood for change to natural, ethical, sustainable food and other daily used products,” he said. “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, and global markets are demanding greater and greater choice as organic goes mainstream.”
The report takes a holistic view of the New Zealand organic sector, presenting the latest research on size, growth, trends, perceptions, challenges and opportunities across the value chain from consumer to producer, looks at how we are tracking globally and also investigates in a special case study the multiple benefits of organic production from a True Cost Accounting point of view.
Mr Hoare said producers and manufacturers were listening to the market signals with more than 50 per cent of producers across the whole industry surveyed for the report indicating interest in gaining full organic certification or transitioning towards organic.
The report also shows that certified organic operations were up 12 per cent to 1,118 licensees and 1,672 certified enterprises and land under organic production had increased by 17 per cent to almost 89,000 hectares due to 50 per cent growth in organic livestock area.
The report, published on line at http://www.oanz.org/publications/reports.html is a major undertaking by OANZ, the authoritative voice of the organic sector, and coincides with progress on establishing a single, mandatory, national organic standard and robust regulatory framework.
The standard and underpinning legislation is required to support export opportunities, encourage investment in organic production, give consumers and customers peace of mind over authenticity – and bring New Zealand’s regulatory framework on par internationally.
The report sponsors include Platinum Sponsors Ceres Organics and Purefresh Organic.