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Industrial Hemp Working Party To Be Established

21 January 1999


Federated Farmers Grains Council Chairman Neil Barton has welcomed Minister of Customs Phillida Bunkle's decision to convene a working party on Industrial Hemp.

"Federated Farmers and the New Zealand Industrial Hemp Association met the Government a year ago to urge the establishment of an industrial hemp trial in New Zealand," Mr Barton said.

"The Grains Council welcomes the opportunity to be part of the working party, which aims to address regulatory concerns."

"There is urgency for the working party to begin so that a decision can be taken, and permits issued for trials to be planted in the spring of this year."

New Zealand currently imports both hemp seed and hemp fibre for domestic consumption. There is an established domestic market that New Zealand farmers could supply.

"Arable farmers look forward to the opportunity of growing another crop, and while the economics of hemp are unknown under New Zealand conditions, industrial hemp is successfully grown in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia and South Africa."

"The Grains Council commends the Minister of Customs Hon Phillida Bunkle for recommending to the New Zealand Customs Service that an industrial hemp working party be established," concluded Neil Barton.


For further information: Neil Barton 021-441-125 or 03-688-8238 Kevin Geddes 025-203-3437

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