in NZ, there are no legal restrictions on the use of the word “organic”; therefore anyone can claim that any product is organic. Many products that are claimed to be organic, but are uncertified, are good products; however some are not. (Worldwide there are a lot of bad products marketed as “organic” or “environmentally friendly” by unscrupulous people or companies hoping to cash in on the growing popularity of organic food and other products.)
There are however are number of organisations in NZ that offer organic certification schemes and selecting food and/or gardening products (such as fertiliser) that include the trademark for one of these organisations on their packaging is your assurance of a genuine, high quality organic product. (Most of the trademarks for the organisations listed below may be viewed at this link; http://www.organicexplorer.co.nz/About+OE/About+Organic+Food+Certification+Symbols.html
(The logo for the new Maori organics certification is at this link: http://www.tewakakaiora.co.nz/?page_id=1304
Some of the organic certifying agencies are run by community groups and also offer free or low cost organic education, in addition to their certification schemes.
The NZ Organic Labels are:
AssureQuality is a division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. Its organic certification is suitable for growers and farmers who want to supply the NZ domestic or some export markets.
BioGro is owned and run by The New Zealand Biological Producers and Consumers Society (NZBPCS).
BioGro organic certification is suitable for growers and farmers who want to supply to the NZ domestic market, as well as expoort.
Demeter (Run by the Bio-Dynamic Farming and Gardening Asssociation)
Demeter is a cerification scheme for growers and farmer that are using a special type of organic agriculture known as biodynamics. The Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association also provides educational events (such as field trips and workshops) to help people learn about biodynamic farming and gardening techniques.
Far North Organics
The Far North Organics certification system was developed by the Far North Organics Growers and Producers Society as a low cost certification option for farmers and growers supplying to the NZ market. It also helps provide education about organic growing and farming through field trips.
Hua Parakore (Pure Food)
The new Maori organics label Hua Parakore is an intiative of the Maori Organics Aotearoa organisation Te Waka Kai Ora (roughly translated as “the canoe of the food of the light”. The certification process incorporates traditional Maori values as well as healthy organic food production processes.
Organic Farm NZ
Organic Farm NZ was established by the Soil and Health Association is a low cost certification agency for small producers supplying to the NZ market. It also helps educate farmers and growers about organics.
For more information on each certification agency, see its website or for a to read a brief introduction and to see most of their trademark logos of most of these organic certification labels go to this link: http://www.organicexplorer.co.nz/About+OE/About+Organic+Food+Certification+Symbols.html