Organic producers and exporters in New Zealand and China are set to benefit under a new bilateral agreement.
The Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Certified Organic Products was signed by the two countries in China late last month.
New Zealand exports of organic produce to China are currently valued at NZ$27m per annum, with this figure tipped to rise thanks to a reduction in compliance costs under the agreement.
“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," said Peter Thomson, director of plants food and environment at New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
Thomson said the arrangement would also provide 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,” Thomson explained.
"This new arrangement and the assessment required to conclude it, provides MPI with knowledge and confidence in the supply of organic produce from China.”