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Demand For Organics Highlights Huge Opportunity

2 March 2000

Demand For Organics Highlights Huge Opportunity - Greens

Green Party agriculture spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street today welcomed news that New Zealand organic exports are growing at 20 per cent per year, but said the growth could be much faster as global demand soars.

Mr Ewen-Street said she was delighted with the sustained growth for our organic produce which illustrated the huge international shift away from genetically engineered and pesticide soaked foods in favour of clean green products.

"The organics industry has the potential to revolutionise our entire economy and to again make New Zealand a thriving and prosperous nation," he said. "Around the world people can not get enough safe food and the only truly safe food is that which is produced organically," he said.

"The Greens campaigned on a vision of turning New Zealand into an organic nation - a nation which produces the cleanest, greenest and safest food in the world. People around the world would clamour for our produce and we could command premiums never before seen in the history of New Zealand primary production."

However Mr Ewen-Street said other nations were realising that the future of food lay in organics and that New Zealand must move fast to make the most of our natural advantages. The organics market in Britain is expected to be worth 500 million pounds this year, with 70 per cent of their produce imported.

Other countries were at least matching New Zealand's growth in organics and New Zealand could do much better yet.

"The potential exists to transform this country and our economy through fully embracing organics," he said.

"The market for safe food is only going to grow as public concern over genetic engineering and pesticide use soars. The organics industry has offered New Zealand a once in a lifetime opportunity which we must recognise and sieze with both hands.

"The Greens will continue to push harder than ever before to wake people to our vision and to this incredible opportunity," he said.

Ends Ian Ewen-Street MP: 04 470 6726, 025 902 527 Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 04 470 6719, 021 1101133

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