No regulation on claiming products as 'organic'

Weekend Life 07/07/2018

In New Zealand there are no official regulations governing the organic industry, which means some products make claims of being organic while still containing some ingredients which are not.

Robyn Vickery, Marketing Manager for BioGro NZ, and Marianne Weber, Innovation Manager for Ceres NZ, joined Carly to clear up the confusion.

There are a number of people pushing to get regulation for organic products, as right now anyone can put the word ‘organic’ on their packaging whether it’s strictly true or not.

At the moment a ‘BioGro’ certified sticker is as close as you’ll get. It’s a voluntary process which people go through because they want to get the stamp of approval, but the lack of regulation means that they are still competing with brands that claim to be organic but don’t go through the same processes.

There are four certification authorities in New Zealand which are all voluntary but Ms Vickery encourages companies to get the certification.

In New Zealand the organic market is worth over $660M.

Organic is a really growing industry.

Consumers are becoming more conscious and they want to buy more environmental products so Ms Vickery says that getting the certification “pays off in the end.”

Ceres Organics has just been given a silver logo for being a certified organic producer for 15 years.

Ms Weber told Carly Flynn that it’s “really hard when our marketing is not regulated” as it can be confusing for consumers and that consumers might not even be aware that there are not regulations.

There is a perception that organic products are a lot more expensive but that’s not necessarily true.

There are many cheaper options and Ms Weber says that the nutritional value, and the assurance of quality and ingredients far outweigh the cost.

New Zealand Charity BioGro is running a campaign called World of Good to clear up the confusion around labelling.

Listen to the full interview with Robyn Vickery and Marianne Weber above.

Weekend Life with Carly Flynn,10am - 2pm on Saturday and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.