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GE Decision Stands To Lose NZ $3 Billion Per Year

NZ Stands To Lose $3 Billion Per Year With G.E. Decision

MEDIA RELEASE From Charles Drace Investment Consultancy

* Food exports to countries who have banned or are considering banning G.E. modified foods totalled $2.779 billion last year.

* New Zealand farmers are being misled into thinking that G.E. will make them more competitive. They're most likely to become less competitive.

* New Zealand farmers are not responding to market demands. Instead, they're being driven by vested interests.

* Food exports to countries who have banned or are considering banning G.E. modified foods totalled $2.779 billion last year. Much of Europe, plus Japan, have banned imports of genetically engineered food or are considering such bans. New Zealand exported foodstuffs (Dairy, Meat, Fruit and Nuts) to the value of $2,779,249,211 last year to Europe and Japan. (Source - Statistics New Zealand, May 2001). Another $861,018,714 is exported to Britain where a major debate is beginning over banning G.E. modified foods. If that happens, the total exports at current risk would be $3.64 billion. Incidentally, total foodstuffs exports were $11,965,968,688, so the loss of those European and Japanese markets would be 30.4% of the total.

* New Zealand farmers are crazy to try to compete with American farmers. Farmers have been misled into thinking that genetic engineering will make them more competitive. How can they compete with farming conglomerates in the United States where there are hundreds of farms bigger than all of Canterbury combined. Farmers in New Zealand have also ignored the fact that many farmers in the U.S.A. have sued producers of genetically engineered seeds because growing G.E. modified food has DECREASED their competitiveness. This is because the public won't buy G.E. modified food and they can't export it, for the same reason. Incidentally, my understanding is the suits are being settled - out of court (avoids negative publicity). Why would any farmer want to endanger his livelihood by risking a third of his potential market.

* New Zealand farmers don't understand marketing. Successful marketing does not mean competing on the terms laid down by our competitors, or by the vested interests like Monsanto. Successful marketing demands that we analyse what people want (this obviously hasn't been done because clearly a large percentage of our markets don't want G.E. modified foods), then finding a unique way of fulfilling that need. The only successful Unique Selling Proposition available to New Zealand is 'Clean and Green'. In addition, we could fill that rapidly growing niche (our organic food exports are growing at the rate of over 25% per year, and our farmers are getting more profit with less cost from growing organically) better than any other nation on earth because we already have extremely efficient and skilled farmers who could easily adapt to a 'Clean and Green' system, but we also have the unique advantage of a vast barrier of water to protect our agricultural industries from air-borne G.E. pollution. No other agricultural country can boast that advantage. Keep in mind that only the falling dollar has increased profitability from traditional agricultural exports. It's only the organic exports that are increasing in volume.

ENDS

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