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Copeland celebrates new wood product export market

Wednesday, 28 April 2004

Copeland celebrates new wood product export market

United Future’s forestry spokesman, Gordon Copeland, says months of lobbying and behind-the-scenes hard work has finally paid off, with the removal of the final barriers to a potentially lucrative industry of exporting manuka and kanuka woodchips and sawdust to Asia for smoking food.

“Although it’s hard to put a dollar value on this market just yet, I’m advised by wood growers and manufacturers in the industry that there is strong demand in Asia and other markets for the unique taste of New Zealand manuka and kanuka flavoured food and they’re ready to go,” he said.

“Previously, Government policy was to forbid the exports of these products because of the supposed ‘iconic’ value of manuka and kanuka in the New Zealand forest ecosystem and because they were useful for producing manuka oil and honey.

“In addition, the Forests Amendment Bill, due back in the House next week, amends the law so that the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests will no longer need to approve the export of each consignment of these manufactured products, thus reducing compliance costs for exporters.

“I am delighted to have been able to play a significant part in opening up this new export industry for wood growers and New Zealand,” said Mr Copeland.

ENDS

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