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13/10/2014

A major win for organic NZ wine in the EU

The European Commission has agreed to recognise New Zealand’s organic wine production methods as equivalent to its own.

This result came about after two years of collaboration between the Ministry of Primary Industries and New Zealand Winegrowers.

The organisations saw the importance of organic wine in New Zealand’s future, therefore began a concerted effort to ensure New Zealand has access to the European market.

“In the past, in order for a certified organic and biodynamic producer to service an international market, there were a lot of extra time and compliance costs that took away quite a lot of margin, so in some instances it was better to go to market removing any mention of organic certification," James Millton of Millton Vineyards and Organic Winegrowers NZ said.

“It means less red tape, so easier for consumers and trade to access our wines and it opens the door for more organic producers to export."

In the long term, the equivalence status will result in greater certainty and less burdensome conditions for the access of NZ wine exports to the EU.

Philip Gregan, NZ Winegrowers chief executive officer said this is a real breakthrough for the country's burgeoning export organic wine sector.

"After years of uncertainty and difficulty we can look to grow exports of organic wine into the premium markets of Europe and the UK," he commented.

Access to the EU market for exports of NZ organic wine can continue after 1 July next year, when the current EC system enabling imports of organic wine will end.

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