Progressive Organic Certification in NZ

During the recent 2015 International Transition Conference I heard that New Zealand has an interesting (and progressive) approach towards Organic Certification. One aspect of this approach that I heard about was the formation of ‘Pods’ of producers in the same geographical area – these pods apparently engage in ‘peer-to-peer’ certification, with national inspectors involved in the process; this set-up allows the costs of official Organic certification to be reduced. A little internet investigation led me to OrganicFarmNZ who operate such a system. The high cost of certification is a barrier to many small-scale producers in the UK (and has led to the success of, for instance, the Wholesome Food Association), as well the confidence of some producers to stand by their production values without recourse to certification. This is an area that would warrant further attention – it would appear that the same challenges faced globally by conscientious food producers with organic interests (though not big budgets) are being met in creative ways in different places. This an area where we can all learn from initiatives undertaken in different parts of the world…

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… and in response to this issue I have just added a new category/map to the directory: Assurance and Certification organizations and schemes can now be mapped globally – at some point in the future I will publish an overview/review of global approaches – unless I can find a satisfactory recent review that I can link to!

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