Concerns for domestic organic industry, as MPI accused of ‘not listening’ – Article by Bonnie Flaws (Stuff.co.nz)
The domestic organic industry may face greater costs and higher barriers to entry under the Organic Products Bill, should it pass in its current form, critics say.
Soil and Health Association general manager Pete Huggins said the sector had concerns that the incoming regulation, currently waiting for its second reading, would “hamper efforts to grow food more sustainably”, despite some otherwise “significant improvements” to the bill after select committee.
Under the proposed legislation, MPI would take control of organic accrediting bodies and for giving final approval to individual operators, which critics say is effectively duplicating the sector’s existing certification process.
Huggins said this would be an unnecessary and extra level of administration and costs for producers.
“We don’t think the verification regime being imposed by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is the correct one. This was not the scheme we were consulted on and isn’t our preferred option. It poses risks around cost increases that the domestic industry will struggle to bear. We think MPI have misunderstood what is required here, and are failing to listen to feedback.”
Photo Credit: Andrea Piacquadio (Pexels)