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Greens welcome gradual greening of Jim Sutton

30 August 2001

attention Agriculture / Rural Reporter

Greens welcome gradual greening of Jim Sutton

Green Party Agriculture Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street MP today welcomed the greening of Jim Sutton with his announcement that the Sustainable Farming Fund has allocated around $1 million to organic agriculture projects.

The funding comes on top of $620,000 in funding for organics that the Greens have negotiated during the last budget rounds.

"I really welcome the Minister's recognition of the growing significance of the organic sector in New Zealand and I am pleased that he has put the record straight on comments he was reported as making to an international journalist recently," said Mr Ewen-Street.

Mr Sutton was reported by the BBC as making comments that were not entirely positive about organic foods last month and today he clarified the confusion, explaining that he had been quoted out of context.

"I really enjoyed hearing the Minister answering an inquiry from Damien O'Connor about this funding for organics in Parliament today. With two such strong advocates of organic production, the future of this increasingly important sector is looking increasingly healthy."

Mr Ewen-Street said that as international demand for New Zealand's organic produce continued to grow, he expected funding from the Sustainable Farming Fund to grow with it.

"I am pleased that the Sustainable Farming Fund has added to Green Party funding for organics of previous budget rounds and, given the Minister's recognition of the value of this sector, I look forward to more Government support for organics in future budget rounds," he said.

Mr Ewen-Street said he was pleased but not surprised at Mr Sutton's recognition of the value of organics.

"I knew he had it in him. It just took a while for him to come out."


ENDS


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