Don Nicolson, Federated Farmers national president, said in his address to the Act conference:
. . . Some believe we ought to be the Rolls-Royce of agriculture. But having been on farms around the world, these artisan like Rolls-Royce’s already exist.
We should instead be the Toyota of agriculture. Trusted food and fibre with an integrity built from excellent animal health delivering safe, reliable and wholesome products. . .
. . . Let’s find out what truly motivates our consumers instead of overlaying the desires of local policy analysts upon them . .
This is why I believe there is scope for a political movement to tackle green issues from a disciplined market approach.
Do you know that led by farmers, 111,000 hectares have been voluntarily protected under QEII National Trust covenants since 1977. If that was a country, it’d be the 184th largest on earth. Who started it? Among others, Federated Farmers.
Being a Scot by descent I can’t abide waste. I know market principles and farming can vastly improve environmental and biodiversity outcomes.
Look at Roger Beattie, Mr Weka Weka Woo.
His weka programme massively out performs DoC’s because he uses farming principles. No farmed species I should add has ever become extinct.
You’d think he would get a trial license to sell weka to high end restaurants or at this weekend’s Hokitika Wildfoods Festival. No siree. Weka could be our turkey but is DoC interested in increasing its numbers by way of commercial farming? No siree.
How about trout? Sanfords has said to us that if the ban on commercial trout farming was lifted Monday, they’d start farming trout on Tuesday.
At US$5.00 a kilogram exported, it could be a US$50 million export within five or so seasons but are we farming trout? No siree, because the funding for a certain lobby group comes from a license ticket. Is its Chief Executive interested in exports? No siree.
This is despite faring would lead to much larger and exciting wild trout under catch and release. Farming salmon hasn’t stopped people from buying licenses to catch a wild one.
While trout is largely farmed in sea cages, it being a member of the salmon family, it can be farmed in artificial ponds that in turns demands water with nutrients. It’s about integrated farm management because our food export potential is vast. . .
Green initiatives and economic progress aren’t mutually exclusive. In general wealthier countries have better environmental standards.
Providing it’s done carefully, lifting the prohibition on farming some native species and introduced ones like trout could create jobs and contribute to economic growth without harming the environment.