Sharing knowledge is caring for a better tomorrow

A one day conference with an aim to share knowledge, information, experiences and skills amongst all stakeholders in the organic sector here in New Zealand. 

This conference will also be made available for live stream

We will discuss;

  • Organic production as  one viable contribution to mitigating climate change

  •  Meeting policy changes

  •  National organic regulation updates

  • Projections for certification requirements

  • Organics in practice


Selva Selvarajah

BAgSc (Hons) PhD CPAg

Consulting Researcher & Chair RMA Hearing Commissioner

Can organic farming be an effective environmental mitigation tool in New Zealand?

The presentation aims to critically and scientifically assess relevant up-to-date overseas and New Zealand scientific research comparing organic and conventional farming systems for their effectiveness in dealing with adverse effects on the environment such as water quality degradation and greenhouse gas emissions. The presentation will also assess the science of organic system, status of organic research in NZ in comparison to that of the overseas, central and local government uptake of organic system knowledge and the system readiness to adopt organic system as an environmental mitigation tool and provide recommendations for a way forward.

Mike Joy

Senior Researcher, at the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies at Victoria University Wellington

Freshwater and farming, the science, the policy and opportunities

The intensification of farming in New Zealand has led to some major freshwater impacts on top of the longer term declines from landuse change. The government is proposing significant change with their “Essential Freshwater, Healthy water, fairly allocated” package, I have been involved as a member of the Science Technical Advisory Group )STAG) and will describe where that is and the implications for agriculture and opportunities for organics.

Andre Leu

International Director, Regeneration International

Why Accept 2oC Warming When We Can Reverse Climate Change?

Climate change is the greatest existential threat, especially for agriculture as the unreliability of weather seasonal patterns combined with increases in extreme weather events is adversely effecting farmers globally. By changing agriculture to one that regenerates soil organic carbon we not only reverse climate change we can improve farm yields, increase water holding capacity and drought resilience, reduce the use of toxic agrochemicals, improve farm profitability and produce higher quality food. This presentation will give examples of best practice systems, including ruminant based systems, that can be certified organic that can sequester enough CO2 to reverse climate change as well as increase the ability to adapt to the increase weather extremes that are caused by climate.

Julia Schmack


Biodiversity improves crop production

Biodiversity plays an important role in the functioning of ecosystems. But how important is biodiversity for agricultural productivity? With a team of more than 100 researchers we compared data of about 1,500 agricultural fields around the world: from corn fields in the American plains to oilseed rape fields in southern Sweden, to coffee plantations in India, mango plantations in South Africa and cereal crops in the Alps. We analysed two ecosystem services, processes that are regulated by nature and are beneficial and free for humans: the pollination service provided by wild insects and the pest control service provided by predatory insects that defend agricultural fields from harmful insects. Results show that the biodiversity of pollinating and predatory insects is directly linked with the efficiency of the ecosystem services they provide: the more diverse the insect communities, the better the pollination and natural pest control. Agricultural intensification causes losses in biodiversity and those beneficial ecosystem services, and has negative effects on crop yields. Maintaining and restoring the biodiversity of beneficial insects, for instance by increasing overall plant diversity and the availability of habitat, is vital for agriculture and its benefits to society.

Damien O'Connor

Minister of Agriculture

National Organic Regulation

Donald Nordeng

CEO, BioGro NZ

Projections for Certification Requirements

BioGro New Zealand is the leading organic certifier in New Zealand. Founded in 1983, it currently certifies more than 70% of all certified organic operations in New Zealand and more than 85% of all organic exports. BioGro’s challenge is to grow the market for organic products in New Zealand as well as diversify into the wider authenticity label claims market that is developing.

Panel Discussion

- Organics in practice

James Millton - Millton Vineyards

James Millton has worked all his life in winegrowing and in 1984, together with his wife Annie established Millton Vineyards & Winery in Gisborne.  He is considered one of the global pioneers in the field of biodynamic winegrowing. All wines are produced from estate grown dry farmed fruit and bottled on the property.  He was instrumental in establishing Organic Winegrowers of New Zealand (OWNZ). In 2012 he was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the organic and wine industries.

Noel Josephson - Ceres Organics

Ceres Organics is a New Zealand company a little bit obsessed with enabling organics to be a part of everyday life for everyone.  They believe the future is organic, as a key driver to help the world’s economic, ecological and social problems. Ceres Organics have been operating organically since 1982 when it all began, with the joining of a group of friends with a shared vision to heal the world, including Noel and Rodnie, who are still at the helm today. They’ve built up a great supply of organic foods over the years, and now have over 300 products under the Ceres Organics brand, as well as a selection of likeminded global brands, that they distribute to supermarkets and specialty shops across NZ, Australia, the Pacific and South East Asia.

Tim Chamberlain - Organic Farm Holdings/Wash Creek Meats

Organic farm Holdings is a farming business established 12 years ago and is centered 40 minuites north of Christchurch in the wine growing area of Waipara. It is owned by 6 NZ families commited to organic farming with the aim of creating a multi generational farming business.  Mt Cass Station runs 16000su in sheep and beef and covers aproximatly 3000ha and  has 250ha in newly established growing a range of organic crops for the local and export market

John Vosper - Jersey Girls Organics

After farming organically for 10 years the Vosper family started Jersey Girl Organics to process milk from their pedigree Jersey cows and sell direct to customers. The milk is  not standardised or homogenised and contains only A2  beta casein. It's delicious taste has been recognised as it has received several awards including : Outstanding NZ Food producers Awards Gold Medal Winner 2019 & 2018 . T&G Global Sustainability Award 2018 and 2017 Outstanding Producer Dairy in the  Outstanding NZ Food producers Awards. 






Opening Remarks


Julia Schmack


Selva Selvarajah


Afternoon Tea


Mike Joy


Andre Leu




Panel Discussion


Damien O'Connor


Closing Remarks


Donald Nordeng

Nibbles & Drinks



Contact Us