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Soaring Organics Sales Show NZ's True Advantage

Soaring Organics Sales Show New Zealand's True Advantage

Green MP and organic farmer Ian Ewen-Street today said figures showing huge growth in organic sales showed what value New Zealanders, and the rest of the world, placed on clean, green and natural food.

The figures from a survey by Otago University show that organic exporters are unable to meet international demand and that in the 10 years between 1996 and 2006 organic exports are set to increase 100 fold to half a billion dollars per annum.

"Perhaps the most interesting outcome of this survey is the realisation from the rural sector of the huge potential of organics in New Zealand, with a third of farmers considering switching to organic production," said Mr Ewen-Street.

However Mr Ewen-Street said the recognition of the potential of organics to earn New Zealand top export dollars comes at a time when the very future of organics in New Zealand is threatened by the possibility of the release of genetically engineered organisms into our environment.

"All organic farmers know that organics and genetic engineering cannot co-exist. The public are also taking this message on and are becoming increasingly concerned at the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Genetic Modification," said Mr Ewen-Street.

"Farmers know that their economic future does not lie with genetic engineering, rather it lies in producing the world's cleanest, safest food and taking all steps possible to protect our clean, green image as this is where our advantage lies."

Mr Ewen-Street said it was time for groups like Federated Farmers to wake up and realise that their endorsement of genetic engineering was out of step with farmers, consumers around the world and the people of New Zealand.

"Given that a third of farmers are considering switching to organics and around 70 per cent of farmers believe the future of farming lies with organics, I am really concerned at the lack of vision shown by Federated Farmers and their failure to accurately represent the views of farmers.

"Organics in New Zealand has shown itself to be far more than just a cottage industry - rather it has shown itself to be a huge part of our economic future," said Mr Ewen-Street.


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