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Controlled Substances

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As part of our strategy towards building a portfolio of controlled substances and accessing strong capabilities in this segment we have acquired GSK's Opiates business in Australia. We have a strong portfolio of opiates products with manufacturing sites in Latrobe (Tasmania) and Port Fairy (Victoria). Our product portfolio comprises poppy-derived opiate raw materials that are primarily used in the manufacture of analgesics for the treatment of moderate to severe pain.

We meet 25% of the world's medicinal opiate needs from poppies grown by farmers in Tasmania. This growth has been based on the innovative development and usage of technology in all aspects of our operations. Recognised as the most cost-effective international producer of opiates products we provide world markets reliable and secure alkaloids for analgesic medicines. Over 95% of the thebaine, codeine and morphine produced is sold to export markets.

The poppy industry is one of the success stories of Australian agriculture and manufacturing. Through significant developments and the application of innovative research and development, we continue to contract with and assist Tasmanian farmers to grow poppy crops, directly contributing to the word’s medicinal opiate needs. The opiates are extracted from the poppies at our factory in Port Fairy, Victoria and are used in a range of pharmacy and prescription medicines worldwide.

We are continually researching how to develop new varieties of poppy and improve growing techniques that will increase the poppy and alkaloid yields, and make the crop safer.

Our Strengths in poppy farming:

Innovative Research
  • to increase yield
  • to improve reliability
  • to reduce cost
Commercialisation of Thebaine and other alkaloids, and use of products such as Lontrel
  • adding value to Tasmanian Poppy Production
Flexibility in payment systems
  • To encourage improved productivity, and to protect grower returns
  • Minimum payment introduced in 1991 to provide secure grower returns
  • Bonus incentive scheme introduced in 1997
  • New payment system introduced in 2000 to encourage and reward high productivity


We manage crop area as required for the marketplace, supported by drilling, harvesting and processing capacity.

Each stage of our operation is constantly reviewed to ensure we can combine growth with the level of efficiency, capacity and service which is required for success in poppy production.


We have established a viable and successful industry for Tasmania - which leads the World for reliability and efficiency - and is based on:
  • A successful partnership with growers and industry partners
  • Profitable and reliable crop returns
  • Efficiency in all areas of crop production and processing
  • The reliable supply of a high quality, cost-competitive product to the World market
  • Continued development and progress of the Industry

What is Poppy?

Poppy has been grown for centuries as a source of 'opium gum' recognised as a valuable pain reliever. Green capsules are 'lanced' to allow the release of a white latex, which dries to leave a brown gum known as opium. This gum contains over 40 alkaloids, as well as numerous other plant components. From this gum, complex chemicals responsible for pain relieving properties has historically been extracted, which was used in the manufacture of analgesics for the treatment of moderate to severe pain.

This opium-based operation is now all but replaced with modern dry-cropping techniques, which uses advanced technology and mechanized farming equipment to deliver a reliable and efficient crop, targeted to the particular alkaloid required by the marketplace.

Poppy Contacts

Our Field Staff provide growers with assistance through all stages of crop production, and co-ordinate the planting, spraying and harvesting of the crop. The aim of our Field Operations is to maximise the return of every crop. Please go to the contact details section to access the field service mobile numbers for Poppy products.