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Organics hampered by Govt inaction

26 July 2005

Organics hampered by Govt inaction

The Green Party is appalled at the lack of government support for the organic sector and is calling for serious financial support for the new umbrella group, Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ).

"The Government keeps putting off contributing towards OANZ," Green Party Agriculture Spokesperson Steffan Browning says.

"Apart from seeding money to organise its structure, the Government has consistently fudged about funding this membership-driven group.

"OANZ can help this country solve its serious sustainability problems. Good examples of organic sustainable production exist already. With meaningful support to the sector organisation, those examples can be multiplied quickly," Mr Browning said.

"Although many farmers and their fertilizer suppliers and marketers are in denial, Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton knows that all is not well out on the farm and that our rivers, lakes and aquifers are in an increasingly disgusting state.

"Thinking farmers are looking for solutions and the organic community wants to help but cannot be expected to fund itself into a mentoring role in the current uneven playing field.

"Current intensification and profitability of mainstream agriculture is mostly subsidised by playing hydroponics with high rates of fertilizer use and abusing farm aquifers. This has been building for decades and it is time for us to all work together to urgently correct the mess.

"This must happen much faster than is currently planned. Ignoring organics will be at any government's peril. Our environment is degrading rapidly and, more and more, our customers expect our clean, green country to live up to its reputation.

"The Green Party is committed to real support for the organic sector and looks forward to Organics Aotearoa New Zealand getting the funding to support the survival of New Zealand's primary production sector."

ENDS

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