Become certified organic: FAQs

As New Zealand's leading organic certifier, we are often asked many common questions about how to become certified organic. Here are some of those frequently asked questions.

What is Organic Certification?

Organic certification is the world’s most widely-used, secure and impermeable traceability system. BioGro certify farmers, producers and manufacturers to show that every aspect of their process is compliant to organic standards.

Every single BioGro certified product can be traced back to its origin. For example, a bottle of certified wine can be traced back to the exact vineyard its grapes came from; a single ground of coffee can be traced back to the plantation in which it grew; using certification, we can pinpoint the exact field where an apple was picked.

Our certification process includes checking a producer’s Organic Management Plan and conducting an annual audit. We visit farms, packing facilities, warehouses, stores and manufacturing operations to make sure their practices meet our organic standards and requirements. Only when BioGro’s organic requirements have been met does a producer receive BioGro certification.

Is there any paperwork?

You’ll be happy to know that everything now lives online. All your information is saved and stored which means you only need to update it in subsequent years if there have been changes to your operation

What does the BioGro logo guarantee?

The BioGro logo is the most recognised organic logo amongst New Zealanders. It is the mark of a certified organic product that allows you to export your products to international markets. The BioGro logo guarantees a product has been made without GMO, animal testing and the routine use of synthetic pesticides.

BioGro certified producers carry the BioGro logo on their products to assure consumers that the organic products they buy are genuine. To know you're really buying organic, look for the BioGro logo.

What steps are involved in becoming BioGro certified?

This all depends on who you are and what you do. Head over to our Certification Programmes page and click on the most relevant link to your operation.

Which organic certification programme is best for me?

Check out the certification programmes here. We have 4 distinctive certification options available to customer; Organic Certification (Processed products, Viticulture & Wine, Health & Body Care, Livestock, Horticulture, Apiary, Dairy etc.), Natural Certification (NATRUE), Input Certification, and GMO Certification.

Can I add extra programmes onto my BioGro certification to gain access to different international markets?

Yes. Below are the international accreditations you can add to your BioGro certification. Check out our International Programmes for more information.

How long does the application process take?

For new applications it takes approximately 2-3 months depending on your operation. If you have a urgent deadline we can discuss fast tracking your application.

BioGro renewal applications take around 8 weeks provided there are no issues at the time of your audit.

How long does it take to become fully BioGro certified if i am a primary producer?

Full conversion to organics takes approximately 2-3 years.

How long does it take to become fully certified if I'm NOT a primary producer e.g. I'm a processor?

In most cases you can become fully certified organic after a completing a successful audit.

Can I transfer my organic certification from another certifier or programme?

Yes, this is a relatively simple process. To enable a transfer we require a copy of your latest certificate and audit report from your current certifier alongside a completed application form – you will require an audit from BioGro. If you were certified with COR (Canadian Standards), we also require a letter of transfer from the certifying agency.

Can I get credit for already managing my property organically even if I'm not certified?

Yes. However, you will need to demonstrate how you have managed your property organically over the period before you apply for BioGro certification. Your auditor will review this evidence at your first audit and make a recommendation to our certification team.

How much does certification cost?

It depends on the type, scale and complexity of your business, the number of markets you want to access and your certification programme. We have provided some cost details here by choosing the most relevant programme to you, but we advise you please contact us.

How often do I need to be audited?

To maintain your organic certification status, you need to reapply for certification and be audited annually.