Tasmania’s cool climate provides the perfect environment to grow poppies. But they are not grown for the cut flower industry.
The Apple Isle is the major producer of the world’s legal poppy crop, supplying around 50 per cent of the licit world opiate requirements.
The medicinal poppy industry has operated in Tasmania for over 30 years, and according to figures available from the state’s Department of Primary Industries andWater, the area planted to poppy production in Tasmania for the 2002/03 season was about 17,500 hectares and involved 1,150 growers who are licensed to the Poppy Advisory and Control Board and subject to strict security controls.
The estimated farm gate value to growers was approximately $65 million with the industry’s total value to the Tasmania economy expected to reach around $200 to $300 million.