Brendan Hoare on the Resurgence of Organic Food Production in New Zealand

Interviewed by

Tim Lynch

Brendan Hoare on the Resurgence of Organic Food Production in New Zealand

The 2016 New Zealand Organic Market Report.

Organic produce sales have increased 11% per annum across the country, as New Zealanders are becoming more mindful as to what they are putting in their mouths and swallowing.

This interview covers the era (and error) of the 1st World War where newly concocted chemicals were introduced in armaments etc, that were seen to also have an effect in seemingly speeding up growth in plants.

This onslaught continued into synthetic chemicals and the challenges we have today with industrialised factory farming becoming intoxicated from pesticides and herbicides.

That then turned into industrial agriculture - a particular ‘culture’ (not really farming) and now we are coming to the end of this industrial age plus its ‘so-called’ mythology.

Pesticide and (herbicide) use is everywhere in our civil society, our road and parks management, in conservation and agriculture, and it begs the question:– Are we going to continue to poison our environment, our soil, our food, (that means spray poisons directly onto food), then eat it?

Is this going to be our normal practice, now and into the future? Any sane person has to say, NO I do not think so! This does not make sense!

Thus NZ society is waking up to the realisation we have to clean up our act and quickly.

Few people are aware that the NZ organic movement has been in existence for 75 years and it was on the 7th April this year that Organics NZ celebrated their anniversary in Parliament, in the ‘grand hall’ - sponsored by a pan party Primary Production Select Committee, –where this event actually garnered some media attention. That Parliament was open to this Organic presentation showed that change is coming to the halls of power as a result of decades of honest toil and work by the organic producers sector.

So in the words of Brendan, organics is going “gangbusters” and if we discipline ourselves this sector can grow quickly with huge benefits to people, the country, our health, to the ecology, longevity and our children’s future.

Organics in NZ grew from 2008-2010 by 8% per year –and from 2012 -2015 it is up to 11%, with plenty of room to expand.

Not only that there is more awareness in general, but people are becoming more conscious of what is happening to their food. People are wanting to make a deeper connection to their food source and one of them is ‘through ’certified organic’ products’

The Market Report for Organics Aotearoa NZ that was produced, was sponsored by New World and Countdown, Ceres, Fresh Direct and Vespry. Here is mainstream NZ in behind this report saying this is the way to go. Though Brendan tempers this by telling us that instead of using the organics slogan “We are the answer”, to now saying “We have solutions”. Very real solutions.

Today, Fonterra’s organic milk powder has a value 5 times more than conventional milk powder. This should be an eye opener to NZ dairy farmers! Especially, in a fickle and topsy-turvy world market.

So who is it buying organic products? It’’s Generation Y, born in the 1980s and 1990s, comprising primarily the children of the baby boomers. They want authentic foods and are prepared to pay for it.

Buy Pure New Zealand - why?
Because the world wants what we are growing here, isolated away from the big industrial polluted northern hemisphere.

The big question being, are we prepared to listen to what people want and deliver that back to them in the way that they want it?

The market report is positive and there is a ground swell heading our way.

This interview covers:

How do young NZ people get back on to the land?

What does it mean to identify with place and merge with your land and farm, developing one's intuition, and being at one with the elements, knowing that you are gifting from the soil the highest quality food that retains its life force.

Using appropriate technology and knowledge to be at the forefront of land management. That we can have healthy soil, healthy food and healthy people and are delivering on biodiversity and ecology.

That NZ becomes the biological - ecological producer of nutrient dense organic food for the world.

The new way forward is based more on relationships from –the farmer, to the customer who is the consumer.

The 3 organic keywords are ‘growth, celebrating diversity and confidence’– because Organics Aotearoa see that this is achievable.

Note, that contrary to mainstream media’s message, most food in the world is grown through gardening and not through farming. This is provable.

Having your children work in the garden, do chores etc. Letting them understand the connection that plants grow in fertile soils to produce tomatoes and corn, that eggs come from chooks etc.
That when children spend quality time in the garden they embed themselves in connection to natural systems that is very real - it’s not a fantasy, it’s not a TV show or an iPad game.

Organic standards, what are they in NZ? – Bio Grow being the leading certification agency.

Today Countdown and New World have 77% of organic retail sales across NZ. Countdown has its own organic house brand.

Brendan tells the story of 500 hundred year old trees in the Ureweras here in NZ giving honey to Koreans –but, they don’t see it as ‘just honey’ they see it as medicine from an elder, one that is 500 years old.

When it comes to organic food production and land use the best results by far is when you are inclusive and participative. That your dealings are open and clear and when we involve ourselves in this intent, it becomes a relentless pursuit and endeavour to bring NZ land management, health and wellbeing - into fruition.

Managing continuous 11% growth needs very focused attention and nurturing where you can not take short cuts. Organics engenders integrity of being and of effort.

Now we in NZ need top down assistance, –we have done decades of bottom up grass roots work, now we need support from government to shift the energy for the whole country.

11% each year - it is happening! It may be an intergenerational shift, but it may come faster. If we get some major support from a ‘conscious’ NZ government - magic could happen.

Now we need some enlightened policy, some regulation, and it can not be political.

This is what is best for New Zealand and ultimately, our planet.

http://www.oanz.org

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Tim Lynch

Tim Lynch

Tim Lynch, is a New Zealander, who is fortunate in that he has whakapapa, or a bloodline that connects him to the Aotearoan Maori. He has been involved as an activist for over 40 years - within the ecological, educational, holistic, metaphysical, spiritual & nuclear free movements. He sees the urgency of the full spectrum challenges that are coming to meet us, and is putting his whole life into being an advocate for todays and tomorrows children. 'To Mobilise Consciousness.'

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