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Demand for safe food continues to soar

18 September 2000

Demand for safe food continues to soar

Green Party Agriculture Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street today said the benefits to New Zealand of switching to organics were becoming clearer with every passing day, and the facts were now impossible to ignore.

A recent survey of 1000 Australian consumers shows that over half of all Australians are prepared to pay more for organic food.

"How much longer can we ignore the obvious?" asked Mr Ewen-Street. "The demand for safe, organic food is soaring internationally and consumers are prepared to pay premiums for the guarantee that their food is free of chemicals and genetically engineered organisms."

Organic food is the only food that can provide consumers with those guarantees, he said.

"A recent survey shows that around 70 per cent of farmers in this country believe the future of farming lies with organics. Consumers are rejecting genetically engineered food because its safety is unproven and they simply do not trust it.

"While New Zealand is still free of genetically engineered crops we must embrace the opportunity and become increasingly organic as quickly as we can," he said.

"To implement this policy would be to categorically brand ourselves as the producers of the cleanest food in the world at a time in which suspicion of food production methods is rapidly growing."

Mr Ewen-Street said a commitment to organics and a rejection of genetically engineered crops would guarantee massive global demand for our produce and ongoing premiums for our agricultural sector.

"This would be a brave move but an overwhelmingly positive one," said Mr Ewen-Street. "It would be a move that would make us world leaders and New Zealanders love that. Surveys like this latest Australian one will keep coming. How much longer can we wait before giving our clean, green image some real substance?"

For more information on the Australian survey:

Ian Ewen-Street MP: 025 902 527 Jonathan Hill: 04 470 6719, 021 440 090

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