Aotearoa’s second annual Organic Week is here

By Fiona Stephenson

This year Organic Week will focus on celebrating and educating Kiwis on all things organic. The focus is on building awareness around where food comes from and highlighting ways organics can benefit families, communities and the environment.

The week-long programme kicks off on Monday 29 April and includes a wide range of activities across the country including market days, cycling tours, farm tours and workshops.

The first event is an organic market being held in Britomart on 29 April. There will be a variety of stalls selling only organic products. Many of these are SBN members like Kokako, Fine and Dandy and Karma Cola, you can find more organics businesses in our member directory.

So, why should you make the switch to organic?

Organics is on the rise. In fact the organic market is the fastest growing multi-food sector in the world, driven by consumers who seek sustainable, ethical and authentic products that are good for them and easy on the planet.

The term ‘organic’ is increasingly being used, so its vital that we are aware and educated on what it actually means to be organic.

“Organic” has been defined by the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) as – avoiding or excluding the use of synthetic fertilisers, pesticides, antibiotics, growth modification and irradiation.

But wait, there’s more…

Organic standards also incorporate the following:

  1. Climate Change

How can we make NZ clean and green again? Organic farming does not use synthetic pesticides or synthetic fertlilisers, thus significantly improving soil and water quality.

  1. Animal welfare

Organic maintains the highest levels of animal welfare, through plenty of space, natural feed, free from genetically modified organisms.

  1. Traceability

Organic certification is the world’s most widely-used, secure and impermeable traceability system. Every single certified product can be traced back to its origin.

  1. Biodiversity

Organic farms create havens for wildlife including homes for the birds and the bees.

  1. Health and wellbeing

Organic food is not genetically engineered or altered in any way. It is made without synthetic colourings, preservatives or additives.

  1. Packaging

Packaging for certified organic products must be chosen with the aim of minimizing environmental impact.

  1. Care for workers

Organic standards will not allow certification that involves or is based on the violation of human rights.

  1. Advertising

‘Greenwashing’ is a common tactic used to confuse consumers into thinking a product is more environmentally friendly than it actually is. There are fair and strict guidelines surrounding what you are allowed to say as an organic producer to allow as much transparency as possible.

A full schedule of Organic Week events can be found here.

Organic Week Aotearoa has something for everyone and we encourage you all to get involved.