A poppy crop can only be grown in Tasmania by a farmer who has a contract with a manufacturing company and a licence from the Tasmanian Government. Contracts and licences are issued on an annual basis.
There are three manufacturing companies in the State licensed to extract the medicinal products from the poppy straw after harvesting. They are Tasmanian Alkaloids Pty Ltd, GlaxoSmithKline Australia and TPI Enterprises Ltd.
The crop is grown on the better soils of the north west coast, north east coast, the midlands, east coast, Derwent Valley and south-east areas.
Poppies complement a range of crops in the farm rotation and when grown well, will yield around 2.5 tonnes per hectare. There are, on average, 800 growers cultivating about 25,000 hectares of poppies annually in Tasmania.
For new growers looking to break into the industry, the first point of contact is directly to either of the three processing companies, Tasmanian Alkaloids Pty Ltd (external link) , GlaxoSmithKline Australia (external link) or TPI Enterprises Ltd (external link).