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Organic Sector Forum

This event has now been cancelled; for detail click here;

Date: 16 June 2014 11:00 to 18 June 2014 17:00

Details:Organic Sector Forum

Wairakei Resort

16th-18th June 2014.

After the hugely successfull ORGANIC DAIRY SECTOR FORUM 2012  (postscript) (the programme)the decision has been made to take this out to the wider organic primary production sector in NZ.

Organic Promotions is pleased to advise that the venue is booked for the

Organic Sector Forum 2014!

The aims of the event are;

  • to bring those involved in organic primary production together.
  • to provide 'out of the gate' insight to organic sector practitioners.
  • to provide business & social networking opportunities.
  • to empower primary producers through knowledge.
  • and of course, enjoy some great food and social exchange.

There will be a wide range of 'in the gate' trade displays to
enable  primary producers to be right up to the mark with input and services
options for certified organic production.

The Forum will include a range of seminars and workshops
designed for;

  • all engaged in the organic productive sector.
  • special sessions for dairy.special sessions for pastoral.
  • special sessions for horticulture.
  • special sessions for input / service providers.

While the programme is still a work in progress, the venue is booked and the commitment made.

Please feel free to suggest topics of interest or speakers.

The Organic Sector Forum provisional programme is now here!

click here;


So have a read, pass back your comments and suggestions--we are here to sevre the organic primary producer.

The Forum is about the business outside the gate, there will be trade displays relating to the inside gate aspects of production.

If you wish to have a topic covered or have a speaker in mind----just let us know!

A Forum for all involved in organic primary production.

Some of our speakers.   Topic profiles lower down.

Andre Leu,

Chair of The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements is confirmed as our keynote speaker.


President IFOAM: Andre Leu, Australia

Andre Leu was (2003/13) Chair of the Organic Federation of Australia. Its role is to develop the Australian organic sector into a major component of Australian agriculture that delivers benefits to consumers, producers and the Australian environment. The major activity has been working with the Australian Government on a regulatory system for organic products. This system will allow the organic sector control over standards setting with the regulators enforcing it. Andre was the Chair of the Far North Queensland Lychee Growers Association. Andre is an organic farmer, growing tropical fruits in Daintree, Queensland. He has over 36 years of experience in all areas of Organic Agriculture from growing, pest control, weed management, marketing, post-harvest, transport, grower organizations, developing new crops and education in Australia and in many other countries.

Dr William Rolleston:

Dr Rolleston is a founding shareholder and director of South Pacific Sera, which produces animal blood products for the biotechnology sector and undertakes contract manufacturing of vaccines and biologics. He is a director of several other enterprises and is the vice president of Federated Farmers. Prior to the establishment of the Science Board he was a member of the Board of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology.

Dr William Rolleston is a South Canterbury farmer and founding shareholder and director of South Pacific Sera. A former South Canterbury provincial president, Dr Rolleston is on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Science Committee.


Mai Chen,

Mai Chen, Managing Partner, Chen Palmer Public and Employment Law Specialists, and Adjunct Professor in Commercial and Public Law at the University of Auckland Business School.

Mai is a Founding Partner of Chen Palmer New Zealand Public and Employment Law Specialists, Barristers and Solicitors, which has won the Best Boutique Law Firm in 2010, and the Best Public Law Firm in the New Zealand Law Awards in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, and was a finalist in the Employment Law Awards in 2011. The Firm has offices in Wellington and Auckland and celebrates its 20th Anniversary in 2014.

for more click here

or visit the website;


For Mai Chen paper relating to 'GE and The Right to Farm' click here


Malcolm Rands,

whose personal and business stories are told in Ecoman, is the founder and CEO of ecostore, New Zealand's leading manufacturer and retailer of plant-based household cleaning, body care and baby care products that are healthier for people and the environment with no nasty chemicals.

Dr Mike Joy.

Senior Lecturer
Institute of Agriculture and Environment

Mike teaches environmental sustainability to ecology and environmental management undergraduate students in the Institute of Agriculture and Environment. He teaches community ecology, global environmental issues, freshwater ecology, microbial ecology and runs a field based paper looking first hand at environmental issues in New Zealand. Topics of his postgraduate masters and PhD research supervision range from assessing farmer's attitude to the environment to freshwater fish micro-scale habitat use.Mike teaches environmental sustainability to ecology and environmental management undergraduate students in the Institute of Agriculture and Environment. He teaches community ecology, global environmental issues, freshwater ecology, microbial ecology and runs a field based paper looking first hand at environmental issues in New Zealand. Topics of his postgraduate masters and PhD research supervision range from assessing farmer's attitude to the environment to freshwater fish micro-scale habitat use.


Mark Levick.

Previously I have been a Regional Manager of AgriQuality New Zealand (AgriQuality Ltd. is a State Owned Enterprise that has assumed some of the responsibilities of the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture (MPI), the original Certification Manager for BIO-GRO New Zealand (New Zealand’s original International Organic Certifier) for 15 years, Manager of Sustainable Land Management Systems and Procedures - and Occupational Health and Safety Manager at a major Hawkes Bay Orcharding Co., Director ISO Quality Control / International Standards and Compliance in the USA; and I have worked in the EU as an organic farming auditor.


for more click here;


Dr Heli Matilainen, PhD

PhD in Biotechnology, MSc in Molecular Biology, Cert. in Organic Horticulture

Heli is the Director of the company. She has 10 years scientific experience in the areas of cancer research and GMOs. Her recent role as a Technical Manager of BioGro New Zealand Ltd, New Zealand's leading organic certifier, gives her state-of-the-art expertise in the area of organics.

Phyllis Tichinin;

Milk Quality overview  For Organic Dairy Conference June 2014

Phyllis Tichinin, True Health Ltd.

Dairy farmers get a paid for the volume of milk produced and usually there is a payment emphasis on milk protein content over butter fat content. Somatic Cell Count and antibiotic residues are tracked but other quality indicators like MUN, CLA, vitamin and mineral content aren't often measured or made available to farmers. In an international market place where the high end, savvy consumer increasingly wants quality (nutrient dense and natural milk), how could NZ organic dairies be aligning  itself to create verifiable quality and what's good in milk that we might be measuring? Do milk qualities link back to environmental performance on farm? This presentation will explore organic dairying's advantages over conventional and what might be done to boost milk quality and consumer awareness.

Ministry for Primary Industries;

to provide an update from;

a Policy perspective, including where we are at with further consultation.

to discuss more technical issues.

from our Science and Risk group come and speak on the public health side.

Mark Houston.

Village Milk Ltd.

Developers of the first raw milk program approved by MPI.

The Land Trust;

Food security and rural ecology are essential to national security. The Land Trust (CC 37781) will allow consumers, whose lives depend on the soil, to develop an active kaitiaki or guardianship role in support of those who carry the day-to-day responsibility for the farms

More speaker profiles to be added soon.

Topic  profiles;

'The Right To Farm',

In this topic we wish to explore the rights, risks and obligations of all on the land to produce what and how they wish, while not impacting on those around them.

As a part of this are the issues of one farm practise affecting the Right to Farm of another farm business, this may be;

  • an organic or biological farmer using a smelly soil input or not managing weeds (not a part of organics—a part of bad farming)
  • chemical trespass onto a neighbouring farm whether organic or conventional.
  • the issues around GE (if it were introduced) and the Right to Farm for those choosing this technology and those next door.
  • the implications of rural subdivision and so on.

There are a wide range of potential issues, it is about the general discussion of The Right to Farm we wish to explore, not the rights and wrongs of any given farm practise.

Integrity in Production and Marketing.

With the awareness of food production, packaging, and all aspects of the supply chain has come the increase in 'production standards' available by way of third party audit, I believe the choice of validation is an issue all producers need to be aware of.

Is there a difference between reality and perception?

Is organic ahead of the pack?

Is organic just a story or does it stack up?

Is it acceptable to have certified organic production marketed in non-compostable packaging?

Is the integrity of the production system compromised by the delivery of the end product?

Is there a marketing edge, or more how big is that marketing edge?

I would like to have presented to Forum attendees the challenge of 'organic & beyond' product marketing to the complete 'cradle to cradle' concept, encapsulating the full 'return to earth' concept.

The choice between organic, free range, SPCA, CarbonZero and so on is only going to grow, how important is the integrity and more-so  understanding the changing market expectations.

Meeting the Certification Needs of a Sector;

The session will provide understanding on what is the relationship between all of the certification systems currently operating in the NZ field of production. Explore how well these are meeting the sectors needs and what changes are already planned, both domestically and internationally.

The session will then go to explore how we ensure that the system will cope with growth, or contraction as the case maybe.

From the press release;

The farmers, growers and input manufacturers will explore aspects of the application of the international market access regulations here in NZ, are they meeting the production needs of this high value sector or do they need tweaking.

So often we are that busy working with what we have we do not have the time to stand back and truly evaluate, Quinn says, it may be working just fine, let's celebrate that but if a tweak is needed let's get that right. He goes on to say, for a much needed expansion to meet market demand we need the machinery to be running at its best, well-oiled and shiny!

Organic vs. Imitator;

Sustainability using agrichemicals

Organic agriculture is under a mass attack from those that adopt some organic/biological practise and proceed to tell the world how 'clean and green' they are---and maybe some are.

Can we be 'clean and green' with what level of Round-up, PKE, superphosphate, does a carbon balancing (trading) scheme do the same thing as incorporating carbon into the soil management program.

The intent is to question whether we (agriculture) can continue to use agrichemicals and claim sustainability?


Organic Insurance;

Explore how well our standard insurance policies cover aspects of our organic business.

How does the term 'common district practise' affect our risk management?

Is our 'organic-ness' insurable?

Like many people who have 'flood insurance' have found out that the water that entered the dwelling was in fact inundation not flooding---hey what's in a word?

Raw Milk;

The Raw Milk farm gate sales issue has really grown and matured over the past couple of years. The formalisation of the regulations around this practise are still under development and with many farmers meeting the market demand it is important to have industry discussion and involvement.

Why at the Organic Forum 2014---it was a topic at the Organic Dairy Sector Forum 2012 and the relationship building with MPI was strong. The Raw Milk Assn. was also formed from this event. With many organic dairy farmers involved in raw milk sales it is critical to have sector wide engagement. We have both organic and non-organic supplies attending.

Organic Hemp;

This growth and development of the Industrial Hemp sector has had it up's and downs over millennia. In NZ and around the world there is considerable growth in the field. Most are wanting certified organic hemp, be it for oil or other aspects of the crop.

In the 2013 /14 season 2 certified organic crops (over 20 ha.) were grown and a further 11 ha using organic practises, with the success of these crops we will see further land come into certification and considerably more Industrial Hemp grown in the 2014/15 season.

There is an opportunity here for many in the organic sector to grow Industrial Hemp, be involved in processing or other aspects of the sector.

Land Tenure;

Over the past year we have seen over 1000 ha of certified land in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty (there is more around the country) sell to conventional agriculture. Over the next few years we have many more farms that have been organic for a generation to come on the market.

Some of the farms that have entered organic management over the last decade will also come onto the market as growers /farmers reach retirement age, it is essential that we explore and understand how many,where, and what sectors. What are the various influences at play in them staying organic or moving back to non-organic management.

It is a heart break for many organic land owners to see their life's work undone, to have the environment they have created given no regard, to have a high value production unit returned to a input based commodity,  lowest common denominator property.

We have various presenter for this workshop to explore these issues.

Detail on other workshops will be available soon.


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