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Dairy Board Tests Waters On Organics

MEDIA RELEASE

19 January 2000

DAIRY BOARD TESTS WATERS ON ORGANICS

NEW ZEALAND MILK (UK) is assessing the potential of organics with the launch of an organic butter spread on the UK market.

The product has been introduced under the Anchor brand and although presently made from European milk, production could be switched to New Zealand if circumstances justify the transition.

Group Director-Global R&D, Dr Kevin Marshall, says while there is no question that the market for organic foods is growing rapidly, the cautious approach by the Board’s UK subsidiary NEW ZEALAND MILK (UK), in testing the market first, was well justified.

“While the proponents of organic production often paint a picture of exponentially-expanding demand, the evidence of the sustainability of that demand is rather less convincing,” he says.

“We need to proceed with care.”

Nonetheless, Dr Marshall says the potential offered by the production of organic milk in New Zealand should not be underestimated.

He said the establishment of a mega co-op would facilitate any major move into organics by the industry, should it be justified. A single region, probably selected on the basis of natural fertility, could be “roped off” for organic conversion, thus facilitating collection and manufacturing.

“There is little doubt that organics will offer growing niche opportunities for the industry in the future,” says Dr Marshall.

“But before any wholesale move in that direction is contemplated, further work on evaluation must – and will – be undertaken.”xxxxxxContact: Neville Martin (04) 471 8458 (W) or (04) 479 3684 (H)

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