OrganicAg News Issue #18 26th June 2014

It will be an interesting season ahead with Fonterra to make some serious decisions on its organic milk program. Having lost at least 11 organic suppliers on the 1st of June 2014, this represents around 15% of the organic supply base of the 2013 season.From around 127 contracted farms (2011) Fonterra is now down to somewhere in the mid 70’s, all reports would seem to show worldwide demand for organic product so are we falling behind as a trading nation?
There is also talk of a new processor of organic milk,based in the Waikato and taking  organic milk from a far wider collection base---more to come on that story.
These are serious questions as we move forward with big changes in EU dairying coming into effect in 2015, the trade and market access (organic)deals various EU countries, the USA and Australia have put in place with China and Korea (our key organic dairy trading nations) could further erode the NZ organic sector.
Why the focus on dairying; many input companies have been waiting for the organic dairy and pastoral land area to increase, it is falling at the same time as certification fees for the input suppliers are going up! It is with considerable concern that I hear input suppliers tell me of the increase in certification fees they are charged (we are not talking single or even double digit percentage growth here)---the solution for many is to seriously consider reducing the range they certify—this will affect all organic production sectors including those whom only supply the domestic market.
So to what is in the news this issue;

AgKnowledge Fertiliser Review #32 on Organics and Biological Farming.

My colleague Dr McBride, who
has worked in the organic industry in the USA, suggests
that there is no difference in practice between Organic
farming and Biological farming except that Organic
endless paper work. Biological farming is simply
Organic farming without the hassle!

UK Soil Assn. does deal to ease trade entry to China

Now the U.K.’s Soil Association, which grants organic licenses to British suppliers, is offering to handle contact with the Chinese authorities on its members’ behalf.

"Working with OFDC will make the process of certification for our U.K. licensees wanting to export to China both efficient and cost-effective,"says Emma Yeats, the Soil Association’s senior certification manager. "We are delighted with this partnership, which helps develop an important export opportunity."

Dubai and organics.

Sales of organic packaged food in the UAE reached $16.3 million in 2013, according to Euromonitor International. Retail sales are forecast to grow by 31 per cent to top $21.1 million in 2018.

Organic food industry developing well in Finland

Finnish organization Pro Luomu recently announced the latest figures on the organic food industry in Finland. The market has been evolving well: in conventional trade, organic products are amply available, and are getting more and more popular with customers. Last year, the country saw a revenue of 215 million Euro in organic products. Sales of organic products have been particularly good in Helsinki.
Gastronomic usage still needs encouragement, however. A governmental development programme will contribute to this. The agricultural acreage in Finland where cultivation in accordance with organic guidelines takes place, is also growing, and the gathering of wild berries plays a particularly large role in Lapland.

China wants Australia’s organic produce, says Australian Organic

Joanna Barber, Australian Organic’s Commercial and Marketing Executive recently returned from China after signing a deal between Australian Certified Organic and Chinese organic certification group, the Organic Food Development and Certification Centre of China (OFDC).
and from AustOrganic site

Money to grow organic fruit and veg.

To address the shortfall Horticulture Australia Limited, HAL, has provided $1.2 million of funding to Australian Organic.
The HAL funding is significant. It will give the industry a considerable boost because up until now there isn’t much development support for organic growers – many have to search online for agronomy solutions and they can feel quite alone.”

Genetically modified grass for dairy cows sparks concern

Dairy Australia is already working hard to win the public relations battle over GM crops, with recent reports in regional media about DA’s bid to develop "farming heroes" - individuals who would help spread a positive message about GM crops among local farming communities

Read more:

Rural Delivery 7th June

Zealong tea

Zealong is New Zealand’s first tea exporter. Its plantation is now well established with around 1.2 million bushes planted on 48 ha. Exports of organically grown and processed oolong tea are going well and are having a very favourable reaction from top end international markets
and in the same episode

Nicole Masters on Biological farming.

Nicole Masters of Integrity Soils, wants farmers to be proactive and take a more holistic approach to managing their properties.
and for the whole episode of Rural delivery;


New Zealand Biological Producers & Consumers Society Inc. AGM.
This year our AGM will be held from 4.30 to 5.30 pm on Friday 4th July at the ASB Showground's in Greenlane, Auckland. It is your chance to have your say on how the BioGro Society (NZBPCS) functions and its future direction.
Workshops will be held during day—check out the detail at
Association of Biological Farmers Inc. AGM.
Friday June 27th, Wellington.
Transformative conversations and AGM check out at.

Raw Milk Producers Assn. NZ. AGM

We wish to advice members that our ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING will be held on

Monday 30th June at 11 am, St John’s Church, Corner of Willis and Dixon Streets , Wellington.

more detail—email the chair

Organic Expo.

Auckland July 5th & 6th.

New Zealand's Consumer and Trade Sustainability Show, 4th year in 2014, unveils "4 shows under 1 roof". It will showcase the range of creative and responsible products, organic, services and innovation already available and soon to be, which can help us all live a healthier lifestyle and achieve a healthier planet. -

more here;

Video of Issue.

It is not organic and is not good agriculture—but it is an issue of both consumer and producer concern.

It is not pretty but it is why we have to have audits and regulations!

It is not in NZ.

Take a look;

and the dairy industry reaction;

Website of issue.

Biology in agriculture is the base of biological farming, this is
Quote of Issue.
"Soil is a remarkable substance, a delicately-structured cushion between rock and air, formed from thousands of years of physical and biological processes. It supports an ecosystem that turns unusable materials into plant food, it stores carbon, filters water and protects us from floods. Oh, and there's the small consideration that without it we would starve. It is, as it takes so long to re-form once it is lost, effectively non-renewable."
George Monbiot discusses the recent rejection of the European Soil Directive by the UK Government,
The Guardian (5 June 2014)
Bill Quinn,
Organic Promotions.
R.D.4 Paeroa. 3674.
Organics'---integrity through transparency!