Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ Ltd) has welcomed today’s launch of the Good Farming Practice Action Plan for Water Quality by Federated Farmers as providing a whole of sector approach that builds on the good work already being done by individual industries.
The launch of the Good Farming Practice Action plan is an exciting opportunity for New Zealand’s agricultural sector, says B+LNZ chief executive Sam McIvor.
“This is the first time that farming and horticulture leaders, regional councils, and central government have come together and agreed to a set of good practice principles, and actions to implement those across the country”, he says.
The 21 principles cover nutrient levels, waterways, land and soil health, effluent management, and water and irrigation systems, and these principles build on the work already being done in the sector.
“As an industry, we see the aims of the Good Farming Practice Action Plan as completely achievable. At Beef + Lamb New Zealand, we launched our Environmental Strategy and Implementation Plan last month. It’s aligned with the Good Farming Practice Action Plan and will support its achievement.
“Clean water is one of the four priorities in our strategy. Our strategy sets out a number of ways in which we will improve water quality, including all sheep and beef farmers to have a tailored farm environment plan by the end of 2021.
“The Good Farming Practice Action Plan gives us a whole of sector approach to lifting our environmental game even more and taking a consistent approach”, McIvor says.
The action plan was launched today by Environment Minister David Parker and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor in the Waikato. It has been developed by a governance group of representatives from the primary sectors, regional councils and the Primary Industries and Environment Ministries, explains Federated Farmers environment spokesperson Chris Allen.
“It’s all aimed at encouraging every farmer and grower to adopt good practice and put in place a Farm Environment Plan that boosts waterway protection on-farm and at catchment level.”
Allen says the principles and actions in the plan will not be new to many farmers, such as those who already have Farm Environment Plans. “But it’s a comprehensive checklist they can use and, for farmers who are not up to speed on these things, it can be their impetus and starting point.
“Earnings from the primary sector underpin the New Zealand economy, and “in a world where consumers are increasingly demanding of proof their food has been produced with high standards of animal and environmental care, we need to continue to lead the way,” he says.