OrganicAg Winter 2010

It been a while since the last newsletter. Will make them more regular now as we have added some new features to the site.

Many will be aware that the only industry support OrganicAg had been receiving was from the NZ Organic Dairy Farmers Co-op--- well their trading arm Organic Dairy Ltd entered receivership on March 10th 2010. The Co-op is not in receivership—but is not active in the dairy sector at this time.

The immediate impact for OrganicAg was that we did not attend Central or National Fieldays this year. The impact on the 27 farms supplying milk was of course far more serious. While this has been covered in the farming media, I do wish to acknowledge the support from the NZODFC over the previous 18 months. Thank you and good luck in your new supply contracts.

The OrganicAg Pastoral Extension Groups are carrying on in 6 areas at present.

We had a very productive 2 day event in March. This was held in Taranaki. We visited 5 farms, several input manufacturers and had a cheese making class. Farmers from Dargaville to Eketahuna enjoyed an exchange of ideas and experiences with like (positive)minded farmers, not mention an ale or two!


The website upgrade;

We have now re-launched with; (view by clicking on underlined)work carring on.

OrganicAg trader a free service to organic farmers wishing to trade 'farmer to farmer'. be it hay, stock, grazing etc.

• OrganicAg directory a free searchable listing (with links to websites)of those providing service or inputs to the biological and certified organic sectors.

OrganicAg directory business page provides a sales pitch, list of products --a reason for potential clients to contact suppliers.

OrganicAg advertising lifting profile on the trader or directory page -- with extra profile and web links. Be assured that it is an advertising contract--Organic Promotions will still maintain it's strong position of no back handers, commissions etc--we do not sell product--we provide a platform for others to promote their products. 'Organics-integrity through transparency.'

• Bio Soils website this provides an entry point for producers who struggle with the organic aspect of bio farming or simply wish to gain the 'in the gate aspect'.

FAQ a few quick question about extension groups and then general questions about biological and organic farming. We will be adding more q/a as time goes on. Send in your question and if we can not answer it we will find someone who can.--always allow a few days.

We still have some fine tuning to do with the search aspect and loading more input suppliers, identifying those that are certified organic and those that are ‘bio positive’.

We will also be adding more links in the open (certification)area to organic regulations. This is especially important for the dairy sector. Here the milk is mixed and therefore the base Fonterra supply requirement is the highest organic requirement in the world.

A beef farmer can certify (land) to the EU or the US or any other market, stock treated in a particular way can be sold to a given market. With dairy for instance CBG (for milk fever) is not allowed in the US market, it is for the EU, it is totally impractical to separate milk for processing for separate markets.

We believe it is important producers have access to the very regulations they are producing to. When I have put clauses of international regulation in front of growers/farmers they translate the regulation in to 'on the ground' 'how do I work with this' very quickly.


Developments in meat;

Boss Ltd, a pet food processor of Fielding, is offering a higher price for NOP (organic US market)bobby calves and manufacturing grade beef (cull cow) than the current schedule for human consumption. The international pet food market is huge and pays well. Well done Boss.

Green Lea Meats Ltd, Hamilton, are looking at the markets and expect to enter the organic export market soon.

And lets not forget those already doing it, the biggest constraint in the meat market is supply.

Watch for more on these.


Soil Carbon;

Dr Christine Jones, Amazing Carbon—Australia, spent several weeks in NZ during June/July speaking at a number of events and with a number of officials.

Dr Jones will be speaking at the Soil Carbon Conference in November.

In general it appears that farmers pick up on the concepts far quicker than the academic fraternity. This was very evident at the Soil Carbon Conference at Cormwell. A ‘leader’ in NZ soil carbon research presented a paper belonging in a conference a decade ago. He was questioned from the room by producers.

This issue is not going away—I do not believe farmers will get rich from carbon trading other than thru the sale of good quality production from carbon cycling farms. As Dr Jones pointed out--carbon trading has been happening between plants and microbes for ever!! From BioSoils point of view carbon trading is best left as an 'underground' business opportunity!

The key issue for me is the debate between carbon sequestration and carbon cycling. Without this debate we may find all sorts of regulation and sales pitchs based on 'non living' systems.



The growth in both biological farming and certified organics is paramount for New Zealand. We hear and read many experts and leaders talk about;

  • high value products,
  • low cost of production,
  • producing what the comsumer wants
  • been environmentaly responsible
  • targeting the top end markets

I do not hear them say the certified organic has been doing this and banking the profits for the last 25 years. Many suggest this is a new area and idea--that needs research--that needs new products -GM- functional food-- how about we do what we (as farmers) have done for generations--produce complete food--biological farming understood and applied is the key to market access and better returns for producers and the country.

Anyway that is a quick update, to farmers out there have a good spring to all others support the farmers to have a good spring.


Bill Quinn,

Organic Promotions.

RD 4 Paeroa. 3674.

'Organics-integrity through transparency.'

'growing topsoil and banking the profits'