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.
How to get certification
Join the Bio Dynamic Farming and Gardening Association.
- Learn and practise biodynamic methods on your farm.
- 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 standards)
- Complete the application to request a visit from an adviser
or inspector and begin the stand-down year.
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
- Submit a letter of application accompanied by a detailed description
of proposed processing methods.
Some requirements for processing
- Raw produce certified Demeter or In Conversion to Demeter.
- Appropriate processing methods to preserve biodynamic quality,
as detailed in the Demeter
International Processing Standards.
- Fail safe systems to prevent mixing in of uncertified produce.
(This is just an outline.)
standards for labelling,
govern the use of the Demeter co-brand symbol (above left), the
main Demeter logo used internationally.
Some requirements of the farming standards
A registration year during which your farm is converted to biodynamic
- Stopping use of synthetic water soluble fertilisers, and most
synthetic pesticides, herbicides and animal remedies.
- Application of biodynamic preparation 500 - preferably twice
- Use of the biodynamic compost preparations in all fermented
organic manures. including compost and liquid brews.
- A plan for converting the whole farm within five years.
This above is just an outline - refer to standards for exact
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 18 months
- Supporting documents such as declarations from merchants and
other farmers from whom supplies have been obtained
- A farm profile - details of farm physical characteristics
such as soil type, climate etc written according to the Demeter
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 exporting.
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
- Levies are ½% on sales in first year of certification, 1%
- 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.
the NZ Demeter standards
for primary production
bulletin No 1 or Demeter
information bulletin No 2
For further information please contact:
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