Skip to content
4 April 2023

Organic claims you can trust: The latest on New Zealand’s organic legislation

The new law to regulate organic products and fine sellers that make misleading organic claims.

Last week, the Organic Products and Production Bill passed its third reading.

Image of organic produce

The new legislation will mean most businesses that produce, process, sell or deal in food products described as organic must be approved by the Ministry for Primary Industries and meet a national organic standard.

There will also be fines for deliberately misleading consumers by claiming a product is organic when it is not. Individuals can be fined up to $200,000, and companies up to $600,000.

Consumer NZ has been a long-time supporter of a mandatory organic standard, and the organisation’s research and test writer Belinda Castles said this is good news for consumers who will now have greater certainty about some organic claims.

“Organic products command a price premium but an organic claim doesn’t mean much unless it comes with independent certification. The new laws means consumers will be able to buy organic produce with confidence, which brings us in line with regulations in other countries.”

The national organic standard is still being developed and will cover food, beverages, and plant and animal products. Ms Castles said there is still an issue with other products, such as cosmetics and textiles, carrying organic claims.

Image of supermarket icons

End greenwashing now

We need new regulations to tackle dodgy 'green' claims.

Find out more

Member comments

Get access to comment