From the Chair
From my position as Chair of ODPG I feel a responsibility to compile a unified approach to the Organic Products Bill (OPB).
I have heard both positive and negative views and considering where the Bill sits at present, have decided to share my thoughts.
As much as we all detest the role of MPI, I can also see merits. MPI have the strength to enforce New Zealand’s regulations and manage our organic products on the border. This seems to be a grey area. Corruption is out there but MPI have failed to provide any evidence or data, which hasn’t helped our cause. I have recently been informed of situations where certain parties have been able to market under their own organic rules. Innocent until proven guilty.
This Bill will portray a clearer picture for consumers. No one will be able to claim they are organic without displaying certification. On a personal note, it really makes me want that certification to prove my integrity even though my milk is out of Fonterra’s collection zone.
Why are we so uncomfortable? Because our livelihoods are at stake and we cannot afford higher costs as profit margins are already slim.
Let’s not show ourselves as victims, we are the heroes and need to act heroically. If we don’t confront these flaws now we will have to at some stage in the near future. We do not require policing at ground level – it is our borders which the government has the power to control.
The policy writers are just that, and I feel it is our duty to help them compose a script we can all adhere to. On closer investigation a petition is not the best way forward and will probably not be processed before the Bill has its next reading.
In conclusion, members are encouraged to forward their stories to Damien O’Connor – firstname.lastname@example.org
For any story to have meaning it has to come from the heart not the mind. It has to show the compassion and integrity that gets us out of bed in the morning, the love with which we grow our organic produce to feed babies, the elderly and our vulnerable consumers.
Personal contact from the primary producer will help to shape their thinking as the regulations are processed. If you have strong opinions on either side of the Bill, tell them. They have asked for our input so let’s give it to them, letter after letter, day after day! We are heroes NOT victims.