Demeter forms and notes are available here
Demeter is a world
wide certification system, used to verify to the
consumers in over 50 countries that food or product
has been produced by biodynamic methods. The Bio
Dynamic Farming and Gardening Association is the
certifier in New Zealand. (The Association registered
Demeter as a certification trademark in 1984.)
Inspectors visit the operators (farmers and
processors) annually to collect information about
their methods. A committee of assessors then decides
whether to grant certification. Most committee members
are experienced biodynamic farmers and/or processors.
The Demeter Standards are a published statement of
the allowed and the required practices for certified
biodynamic operators. All persons working towards
Demeter certification are recommended to obtain a copy
from the Bio Dynamic Farming and Gardening
Association's office or download from the link at the
foot of this page. Any questions they raise can be
referred to the Association office.
Demeter International, the regulator of
Demeter certification worldwide maintains an on-line
database of Demeter certified operators and their
products. You can access it here.
You can see just the New Zealand list here
(but note that many NZ producers have not given their
permission for their details to be published on this
to get certification
Join the Bio Dynamic Farming and Gardening
- Learn and practise biodynamic methods on your
- Obtain a Demeter application pack from the
Association's office or download
here. (This link opens a new page with a
number of different documents on it)
- Obtain a copy of the Demeter production standards
from the Association's office or download
here (This link downloads a copy of the
- Complete the application to request a visit from
an adviser or inspector and begin the stand-down
The visit of the farm adviser is the most common
starting point for formal progress towards
certification which is followed by working to the
published Demeter standards. This visit is one of the
criteria for beginning the registration year. A formal
inspection is an alternative starting point - the
difference between the two staring points is explained
in the application pack.
- Obtain information about processing requirements
from the Association office.
- Submit a letter of application accompanied by a
detailed description of proposed processing methods.
Some requirements for
- Raw produce certified Demeter or In Conversion to
- Appropriate processing methods to preserve
biodynamic quality, as detailed in the Demeter International Processing
- Fail safe systems to prevent mixing in of
uncertified produce. (This is just an outline.)
are Demeter standards for labelling,
particularly govern the use of the Demeter co-brand
symbol (above left), the main Demeter logo used
Some requirements of the
A registration year during which your farm is
converted to biodynamic methods
- Stopping use of synthetic water soluble
fertilisers, and most synthetic pesticides,
herbicides and animal remedies.
- Application of biodynamic preparation 500 -
preferably twice annually.
- Use of the biodynamic compost preparations in all
fermented organic manures. including compost and
- A plan for converting the whole farm within five
This above is just an outline - refer to standards
for exact requirements.
After the registration year
The next step is usually an inspection. In preparation
for an inspection the farmer needs to supply
- A farm management plan - written according to the
Demeter NZ management plan template
- An annual report - a completed form containing
questions and tables for activities in the previous
- Supporting documents such as declarations from
merchants and other farmers from whom supplies have
- A farm profile - details of farm physical
characteristics such as soil type, climate etc
written according to the Demeter NZ template
If a year or more of inspection or reporting is
missed, the Association reserves the right to require
extra information and fees or to withhold
certification until an acceptable continuous history
of inspection is re-established.
Full Demeter certification is normally required for
What does it cost?
- Annual inspection and licensing fee is $512
including GST, travel costs and up to 5 hours
inspection time.Over 5 hours, time is charged out at
$60/hr plus GST. In the second and subsequent years
there is a $50 prompt filing discount. Applies to
both farmers and processors.
- Levies are paid on all produce sold as Demeter or
In Conversion to Demeter.
- Levies are ½% on sales in first year of
certification, 1% after that.
- Farmer's levy is based on farm-gate value at time
of sale. Processor's levy is based on value added.
- Wine grapes are levied in a different manner:
There is a levy of $80 per hectare for the first 30
hectares of grapes, and $10 per hectare on areas
beyond that. Finished wine labelled Demeter is
levied at 1c per litre.
Demeter standards information
Demeter standards for primary production
information bulletin No 1 or Demeter
information bulletin No 2
For further information
Secretary, Demeter New Zealand
P.O. Box 39045, Wellington Mail Centre, New Zealand
Phone 0-4-589 5366, fax 0-4-589 5365, email: email@example.com