Today I’ve been looking through the 2020/21 NZ Organic Sector Market Report, released in April.

The first thing to note is how I found out about it – an article in my June Farmlands magazine. That’s a sign of how ‘mainstream’ organic farming is becoming in NZ.

Another sign: Platinum (i.e. top) sponsors of the report include FoodstuffsNZ, Countdown and Fonterra.

It’s a growing segment of NZ’s ag sector, and as you’ll see below, organic is profitable.

Some factoids:

  • NZ organic sector market value is $723 million.
  • 58% of organic sector output, valued at $420 million, is exported.
  • The US is our biggest organic export market, valued at $86.8 million, followed closely by China at $81.8 million.
  • Organic dairy is the sector leader, with exports of $153.8 million, up 55% from the last report in 2017. This represents almost 16% of NZ’s dairy exports.
  • Organic dairy is where the money is – in 2020 the organic milk price paid to Fonterra organic suppliers was $10.19 per kilogram of milk solids, compared to Fonterra’s final cash payout to non-organic farmers for 2019/20 season of $7.19 per kgMS.
  • BostockNZ produces 85% of NZ’s organic apples. The report says organic pipfruit sells at premiums of 5-40% depending on the market.
  • Very little land is devoted to organic in NZ – 1% of all dairying land, 2.4% of fruit & vegetable land, 5.7% of vineyards and 0.39% of meat-producing land.
  • 81% of NZ consumers purchase organic products at least fortnightly, with 69% of domestic purchases made in supermarkets.
  • Organic products’ share of sales is still small at 2.3% of all supermarket sales. But organic products are growing at 13.8%, faster than the 9.9% increase in non-organic sales.
  • Those who buy organic produce do so because they see organic products to be natural (74%), free from residues or sprays (70%) and that it benefits their personal health or that of their family (68%).
  • 52% of organic buyers are under age 40.
  • 1,223 certified organic operators are producing the stuff.

Great report. Everything you could possibly want to know about the status of organic food production in NZ is here, plus some fascinating insights into our leading export markets and consumer attitudes and organic purchases there.

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  1. Demonstrates the power of television soft sell on the numerous programs promoting organic farming. From a producers’ point of view, the premium “organic” commands makes sense.
    Virtually all our produce residues well within the food safety limits and in some cases (export apples) non-detectable.

  2. As a designer, researcher and author of the Report it’s great to see others picking up on the buzz…well spotted.

  3. Like with many other things Organic production has lacked behind what’s happening in other parts of the world for many years. I was surprised how difficult it was to buy organic when I arrived in NZ 14 years ago.

  4. Mōrena Bay Buzz
    Under the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk substitutes in New Zealand which acts to protect and support breastfeeding and to ensure the proper use of breast-milk substitutes on the basis of adequate information through appropriate marketing and distribution your photo of a can of Fonterra organic milk formula and discussion of the products fulfills neither tenet of this code.
    The Code aims to not to have breastmilk substitutes advertised or promoted to the public and I am disappointed in reading this in a magazine that seeks to do good for our community.
    Happy to help you out next time
    Kathy Manhire

  5. Thank you Kathy Manhire. Easy to get self congratulatory on organics but miss the glaringly obvious.

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