New Zealand: Organic umbrella organisation gets $1.5m Government Funding
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The organic umbrella organisation, Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ), is to receive $1.5 million in government funding over the next three years, Economic Development Minister Trevor Mallard said in March 2006.
OANZ was launched in November last year to provide a single voice for the sector. Mr. Mallard said the $1.5 million would bridge a gap until it became self-funding. "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 the United States and European markets," he said.
Green Party MP Sue Kedgley welcomed the announcement. The market had been treated as marginal in the past and the lack of support meant it missed out on expanding, she said.
"It is great to finally see the Government offering practical support and acknowledging that organics is a valuable and productive sector."
New Zealand still lagged behind countries like Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria and the United Kingdom all of which, Ms Kedgley said, provided strong support for the organic sector. "I hope the funding package for OANZ heralds a new and positive era for organics in New Zealand."