New Zealand Law Society - Organic Products Bill

Organic Products Bill

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The Organic Products Bill was introduced on 27 February 2020. Minister for Food Safety Damien O’Connor is in charge of the bill. The bill aims to increase consumer confidence in purchasing organic products, increase certainty for businesses making claims that their products are organic and facilitate international trade in organic products.

The bill creates consistency amongst organic claims and decreases customer confusion by enabling mandatory requirements to be set for any product sold, labelled, or represented as organic. The requirements are also set for each step along the supply chain, including the production and processing plus all aspects of handling.

Part 2 relates to approval and recognition, and empowers the relevant chief executive to approve operators so that they can describe products as organic and to recognise a range of entities that have oversight of operators’ activities.

Part 3 sets out provisions relating to imports and exports.

Part 5 deals with enforcement, including the appointment of organic enforcement officers and the other powers of the chief executive (clause 69). The proceedings for infringement offences are contained in clause 76. Subpart 3 – clauses 82 to 99 contain provisions for offences

The Act comes into force the day after it receives the Royal assent.