Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ) alongside HortNZ and NZ Winegrowers, have succeeded in pushing back the submission date for the Organic Products Bill. The original plan was for the final submission date to fall within the four-week lockdown due to Covid-19, now the new extension date is May 28, 2020.
OANZ Chair, Chris Morrison said, “Covid-19 has created significant challenges for us all and navigating through these unprecedented times has been no easy task. The Select Committee responded quickly and granted our request, we are very thankful for this extended opportunity.”
The aim of the bill is to increase consumer confidence around the purchasing of organic products, increase certainty for businesses saying labelling their goods as organic, and to help improve the international trade of organic products.
The current framework does not require organic certification with any of the range of private standards offered nationwide. This inconsistency has resulted in consumer confusion and false organic claims. If the bill is passed, it will require businesses to gain approval to market their products as organic.
OANZ is also working with the MPI to figure out the best plan of action to allow their sector to consult on the bill. Those wishing to be involved in the consultation process of the bill will be provided with more information at the next council meeting.
Morrison said, “These extraordinary circumstances require transparency and communication, and the OANZ Board is committed to both.”
To make a submission for the Organic Products Bill head to the New Zealand Parliament website.