Organic farming in New Zealand

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Organic farming practices in New Zealand began on a commercial scale in the 1980s and is now an increasing segment of the market with some of the larger companies such as Wattie's becoming involved.

Lincoln University, which has a strong focus on agricultural research, operates the Biological Husbandry Unit which first opened in 1976 and now focuses organic and sustainable agriculture.[1] The University also operates the 57 hectare Kowhai Farm that is managed to BIO-GRO Organic Production Standards

Land use patterns show in 2002 there were 46,886 hectares of land certified as either fully organic or in transition to becoming fully organic.[2]

Production volumes[edit]


The BioGro logo.

While all commercial producers in New Zealand are subject to requirements under the Fair Trading Act, which covers misleading behaviour, there is no specific piece of legislation regulating organic certification in New Zealand but a number of standards are used including Demeter International, IFOAM and BioGro. BioGro is a New Zealand-based certification agency which formed in 1983. It has IFOAM, JAS and ISO17020 accreditation, which ensures certified providers access to educated consumers in a global marketplace.[3] The first Demeter International registered farm was Shelly Beach Farm in Rodney District in 1983[4]


The Soil & Health Association of New Zealand established in 1941, promotes organic food and farming in New Zealand.

Organics Aotearoa New Zealand formed in 2005 as an umbrella organisation to represent all aspects of organics in New Zealand.[5]

Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF), a network of organisations around the world placing volunteers on organic farms, have operated in New Zealand since 1974.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lincoln University - Biological Husbandry Unit
  2. ^ Statistics NZ
  3. ^ IFOAM - Organic Directory Online New Zealand
  4. ^ NZ Dementer certificate #001 (work:certificate), New Zealand: Dementer International, 1983 
  5. ^ "Formation of 'Organics Aotearoa New Zealand'" (Press release). Scoop. 27 June 2005. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  6. ^ WWOOF New Zealand

External links[edit]