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Organics exports soaring - Greens

Green Party MP and organic farmer Ian Ewen-Street said if the rest of the export sector could match even a fraction of the performance of organic exports the economy would be booming.

Mr Ewen-Street was commenting on figures released by the Organic Products Exporters Group (OPEG) which showed New Zealand's organic exports reached over $60 million for the 1999 / 2000 year - up 77 per cent on last years figures of $34.08 million.

"While I am delighted, as an organic farmer myself, in the good health of the organic sector I am also pleased to view these results in the context of the Royal Commission on Genetic Engineering and the Parliamentary Select Committee Inquiry into organic agriculture," he said.

"Farmers around this country are quickly realising the opportunity of organics. As the whole world rejects genetically engineered foods, and the myths that promote it, people are switching to the safest and cleanest food they can find," he said.

"And as today's figures show growth is not slowing and people are prepared to pay for the knowledge that the food they are eating is of the highest possible quality. This is not a niche market.

"The demand is continuing to rise, the premiums remain high and New Zealand has the unique opportunity to virtually capture this market," he said.

Mr Ewen-Street said New Zealand would be doing itself a huge favour to swing in behind the Green Party's vision of creating an organic nation.

Ian Ewen-Street MP: 025 902 527 Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 021 440 090


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