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Greens delighted at organics inquiry

7 April 2000

Greens delighted at organics inquiry

Green MP and organic farmer Ian Ewen-Street said he was delighted that the Primary Production select committee yesterday agreed his request an inquiry into the New Zealand organics industry.

The committee - of which Mr Ewen-Street is a member - has agreed to an inquiry to develop an overview of New Zealand's organic market potential and to identify the factors which are constraining growth in this market.

Mr Ewen-Street said the inquiry into the fasting growing agricultural sector in this country was desperately needed, especially given the potential that organics had to revitalise the New Zealand economy.

Organic food contains no chemical residues, antibiotic additives, growth hormones or genetically engineered ingredients.

The inquiry was also timely given criticism from Europe's biggest organic produce businesses this week that New Zealand lacked interest in organics, was not as 'clean and green' as New Zealand would like to think and that ENZA had been "arrogant" towards approaches over organics since 1987.

Mr Ewen-Street said there needed to be a co-ordinated approach to maximising the organics opportunity in New Zealand and was confident this inquiry would be a positive start.

"Demand for organic produce has increased exponentially in the European Community and the United States," he said. "There exists a tremendous opportunity for New Zealand to use our perceived 'clean and green' image and to supply the insatiable international demand for high quality organic produce.

"This inquiry has been formed in recognition of the huge opportunity organics offers New Zealand. The Green Party will be pushing our policy of an organic nation, with the safest food in the world, for the duration of this inquiry," said Mr Ewen-Street.

Ends

Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 04 470 6719, 021 110 1133


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