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Organics sector receives govt support

Organics sector receives govt support

Organics sector body Organics Aotearoa New Zealand is to receive $1.5 million in government funding over the next three years.

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Organics sector body Organics Aotearoa New Zealand is to receive $1.5 million in government funding over the next three years, Economic Development Minister Trevor Mallard announced today.

"Organics is a small but important sector. It is important for New Zealand to be able to supply organic product as part of our portfolio of food exports, with demand continuing to grow rapidly in United States and European markets," Trevor Mallard said.

"New Zealand needs to position itself to take a slice of this growth. This funding will help the newly established umbrella body Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ) create a more strategic and coordinated focus for the sector over the next three years.

"The sector is a diverse one, with a history of limited coordination. But stakeholders have worked hard in recent years to find common direction, culminating in the launch of OANZ in November last year to provide a single voice for the sector. This government support will help cement these efforts to coordinate what is potentially a very valuable sector."

The funding, which is from the Sector Initiatives Fund, will bridge a funding gap until OANZ become self-funding.

"OANZ have indicated that they intend to have a strategy for moving to self-funding in place by September 2006.

"It is important that organisational capacity exists to effectively deliver the necessary programmes to help grow the sector's exports."

Background: The Sector Initiatives Fund is a grant scheme for supporting industry projects that are consistent with government economic, social and environmental objectives but that do not meet the criteria of other government programmes. Once a grant has been approved funds are paid out on the completion of agreed milestones.


ENDS

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