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Europeans See Potential In Organic Weed Killer

February 18, 2002


Europeans See Potential In Certified Organic Weed Killer

Statement made by Dr Earl Stevens, Managing Director,
Certified Organics Limited

Certified Organics has exchanged a letter of intent with Dutch based Gainex Vivace International Limited (Vivace) to establish a joint venture company to market and distribute its pine based herbicide (Organic Interceptor™) and pesticide products in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Europe is a key region for Certified Organics products as it represents approximately 60% of the global market for organic produce, worth over $50 billion and growing at 20% or greater each year. Weed control is a major issue in organic and conventional farms. Also, the interest in non-chemical weed control in Europe’s urban areas is very high with many cities banning or severely restricting the use of chemical weed killers.

The Company has also received an offer from a Dutch regional development board (based in the province of Overijssel) to become involved in the development of the joint venture company.

The proposed European joint venture company will have the working name Certified Organics Benelux.

The Company has been approached for the rights to European distribution of its certified organic weed controller by a number of parties in Germany, France, Switzerland, Finland and Holland. The interest of the Overijssel Regional Development Board in becoming involved, culminated in a Vivace executive visiting the company in New Zealand late last month.

This has now progressed to a heads of agreement being prepared for ratification by the boards of both companies.

Under the agreement, Certified Organics will register and own the registration of our Organic Interceptor certified organic herbicide products in the Benelux and the wider European Union. All patents, organic certifications and trademarks will remain our property.

The process of registration will be supported by the joint venture and the New Zealand parent. Preliminary work on the requirements for European registration has already begun and while local trialling will be required, most of the trial results and supporting scientific data developed in New Zealand and Australia will be transferable to the process.

In recording its interest in becoming involved, the Overijssel development board stated:

“Your product for organic weed control addresses a potential market need in Europe.

“Initially we would like to assist with trialling and testing the product within the organic farming and council / municipality land management markets.

“Upon successful completion, the product would be released in the Benelux and further research undertaken to assess wider European potential.”

The Overijssel board has more than 25 years’ experience assisting businesses to establish in its region, and becomes involved with up to 45 projects annually.

The level of early interest shown by the Europeans in our certified organic weed controller, Organic Interceptor™ is extremely encouraging as we are still in only the early stages of commercialising the invention in New Zealand and Australia.

It demonstrates that there is a major international market opportunity for natural organic herbicides and pesticides that are effective but are not chemically based.

It is an opportunity Certified Organics is well positioned to exploit – using nature to control nature.


Ends


For more information contact Dr Earl Stevens, Managing Director, Certified Organics Limited, phone 09 525 3432

Released on behalf of Certified Organics Limited by Network Communications – Dennis Lynch, phone 09 379 3154.


CORMR003

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