Tasmanian Alkaloids holds annual grower awards for top poppy crops

TOP CROP: Three poppy growers rewarded with travel bursaries at Tasmanian Alkaloids' annual event. Picture: Neil Richardson
TOP CROP: Three poppy growers rewarded with travel bursaries at Tasmanian Alkaloids' annual event. Picture: Neil Richardson

Exton poppy producer Neil and Marilyn Atkins were one of the three winners at Tasmanian Alkaloids’ annual grower awards on Wednesday.

Their Eve crop was Tasmania’s best.

Phillip and Fiona Medwin from Black River won the top Tasman award, while Kindred growers Peter and Matthew Langmaid were awarded top Thebaine growers.

Each grower receives a $10,000 travel busary.

The awards were held at Josef Chromy Wines, Relbia, with 150 growers, industry representatives and guests attending.

Field Operations manager Tom Radcliff said the event was an opportunity to review results, celebrate the top-performing crops and discuss future developments.

“Despite the warm and dry conditions we experienced this season, solid yields and high alkaloid content straw was delivered to the factory,” Mr Radcliff said.

“The growers’ investment in water and irrigation infrastructure was certainly rewarded this season.

“It is a credit to the growers and the field operations team that we received enough poppy straw to meet customer requirements,” he said.

Chief executive Doug Blackaby said the season had been challenging, but successful, and shared plans for future product diversification.

“Tasmanian Alkaloids has embarked on an extensive product diversification assessment and has identified a number of new and exciting opportunities that will not only bring benefit to our company but also to our key partners and suppliers such as the growers,” he said.