Federated Farmers is celebrating the news that 90.3% of Canterbury dairy farms aren’t harming the environment and the improved working relationship with Environment Canterbury which contributed to that.
Robin Barkla, Federated Farmers Vice-President and a Whakatane dairy farmer. said:
“It says a lot that yesterday well over 200 dairy farmers were at the Lincoln dairy fielday. Environment Canterbury not only announced the 2010/11 results but were openly discussing with farmers how to better manage effluent.
“The large numbers attending tell me these are farmers looking for a better way. The three Canterbury dairy chairs all feel that the days of ‘them’ and ‘us’ are gone and on that score, Federated Farmers couldn’t be happier.
“With 99.56 percent of Canterbury’s 921 dairy farms being randomly inspected last season, this is a comprehensive environmental picture. Not only that, but these inspections are carried out under user-pays principals.
“I’d like to think that environmental transparency is a good thing. What these results tells me is that 90.3 percent of Canterbury’s dairy farms did not pose a threat to the environment last season. . . “
The goal is 100% compliance and the good news of high compliance doesn’t make the 9.7% of non-compliant farms acceptable.
“Federated Farmers main focus has always been on the rate of significant non-compliance. That is where environmental harm comes from. While the rate has crept up slightly, the fact is our Canterbury members are light years away from the season when one in five were significantly non-compliant. Those days are gone.
“Modern dairy farming is hugely complex and Canterbury’s 921 dairy farms operate under 10,137 consent conditions. The sterling result is that 9,630 consent conditions are fully complied with,” Mr Barkla concluded.
Mention dairying and too often someone will preface it with the word dirty.
Any pollution is unacceptable but the 90.3% of farmers who do all they should and more to look after the environment shouldn’t be damned because of the minority who cause the problems.