Beef + Lamb NZ’s Victoria Lamb presented the case for New Zealand’s sheep and beef farmers, saying they are playing their part. The farmer-levy funded body has set a target in its environmental strategy of the red meat sector becoming net neutral by 2050, which it recognised, “Will take quite a lot of effort,” she said. Work is underway on a variety of options and B+LNZ is looking to drive behaviour change on-farm and the wider rural community. "It's not like the primary sector is dojnng nothing," she said. All sheep and beef farms will have a Farm Environment Plan (FEP) by 2021, deer by 2020 and dairy by 2025 and workshops to educate farmers are being held around the country, she said, pointing to a raft of other activity underway in the sector. This includes aiming at a whole of environment integrated management system for water, biodiversity, climate change and soil health, which is “mainly driven by water quality,” she said. Other work is ongoing on GHG estimation tools, a whole farm verified carbon footprint tool and GHG numbers for all sheep and beef Economic Service survey farmers will be included as part of benchmarking, along with other environmental data recording.
“The challenge is dealing with biological systems, which need to be evaluated in all forms.”
FEP is also integral for the NZ Farm Assurance Programme underlying the sector’s Taste Pure Nature marketing strategy, and involving all but one of New Zealand’s meat processors, she said.