Farmers in South Australia can now formally express their interest in becoming a poppy grower with TPI Enterprises Ltd following the granting of an alkaloid poppy processing licence to the company.
This follows the proclamation of the Controlled Substances (Poppy Cultivation) Amendment Bill 2015 and the making of the Controlled Substances (Poppy Cultivation) Regulations 2016 which came into effect in September.
The granting of a poppy processing licence is the latest step towards allowing the lawful growing and processing of alkaloid poppies to occur in South Australia.
To become a licensed poppy grower, potential growers will need to meet certain conditions in order to apply for a licence to grow the crop.
These conditions include having a contract with a licenced poppy processor, undertaking probity checks with South Police along with other safety requirements to protect poppy crops from misuse.
Farmers interested in growing poppy crops should register their interest with a licenced poppy processor - at this point in time this can be done on firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about the regulatory framework including how to apply for a licence to grow poppies once a contract with a licenced poppy processor has been negotiated, go to PIRSA’s website - www.pir.sa.gov.au/poppycultivation.
Quotes attributable to Will Zacharin, A/Deputy Chief Executive, Primary Industries and Regions SA
With TPI Enterprises Ltd being issued with a licence to process poppies in South Australia, we remain on track for South Australian farmers to be able to plant their first crops in time for next year’s growing season.
The growing of poppy crops in South Australia, particularly in the South East region, presents a potentially viable and profitable rotational option for farmers who traditionally grow seed and other broadacre crops.
This new agricultural industry provides licensed farmers with a potential option to diversify their farming enterprises and may contribute towards further regional development and employment opportunities.
Quotes attributable to Jarrod Ritchie, CEO TPI Enterprises Ltd
TPI is pleased it has been granted a Processors Licence following the introduction of a regulatory framework for the cultivation and processing of poppies in South Australia.
By signing a cultivation contract with TPI, South Australian farmers will be able to generate another income stream through the inclusion of poppies in their crop rotation.
TPI looks forward to working with South Australian farmers for the 2017/2018 poppy cultivation season.
Australia is an international leader in the manufacturing and exporting of opiate raw material, with currently around 50 per cent of the world’s market of opiates for pharmaceutical manufacture and research manufactured in Australia.
The lawful cultivation of poppies currently occurs in Tasmania, Victoria and the Northern Territory. New South Wales is also establishing a regulatory framework for poppy cultivation which is expected to be in place by the end of 2016.
Opiate-based medications are used for a wide range of conditions, including pain relief, palliative care and anti-addiction medications.
The lawful cultivation of opium poppy crops for use in pharmaceutical manufacture and research is expected to commence early next year.
It will still be illegal to take, use, sell, grow, process, or transport poppies without a licence from the South Australian Government. Illegal possession of poppy plant material or substances derived from poppies is a criminal offence and attracts heavy penalties.