Sustainability champion for the red meat sector?

Sustainable beef: Last year's winner of the supreme award in the NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards was Taupo Beef, run by husband and wife partnership Mike and Sharon Barton, near Taupo.

Fancy being a sustainability champion for the red meat sector? You’re in luck. Entries have opened for the 2016 NZI Sustainable Business Network (SBN) Awards.

Now in their fourteenth year, the awards celebrate the contribution organisations and individuals are making to transforming New Zealand to a more sustainable nation. Entry to the awards is free and open to all organisations and individuals in New Zealand.

SBN chief executive Rachel Brown says, “There’s been a tremendous amount of action in sustainability over the past year and the need to be recognised in this space is greater than ever. The sustainable business landscape has shifted with events such as the Paris Agreement on climate change putting sustainability firmly on the agenda.

“Now’s the time to be recognised for your sustainability innovations or impacts. Entering these Awards is a quick and easy way to celebrate your achievements,” she says.

The wards focus on four transformation areas that are key to the future direction of sustainability in New Zealand: renewables, community, mega efficiency and restorative. Within each of the categories there are separate awards for impact and innovation. There are also awards for Sustainability Champion, Communicating Sustainability and Energy Management.

The supreme award, the NZI Greatest Contribution to a Sustainable New Zealand will be awarded to a business that has performed outstandingly well in all aspects of sustainability.

Taupo Beef: 2015 Supreme Winners

Last year the Supreme Award was presented to Taupō Beef, run by husband and wife duo Mike and Sharon Barton, from their property near Taupo.  Their company won the Restorative Impact Award as well as the Supreme Award through its vision to lead New Zealand beef farming while also protecting the water quality in Lake Taupō.

The standard New Zealand farm business model of increasing production in the face of rising costs and flat commodity prices no longer applied in the Taupō area due to the Waikato Council’s introduction of nitrogen caps. Modelling showed that farmers would soon be insolvent when having to cap nitrogen and hence livestock numbers.

Taupō Beef comes from three farms which are operating under New Zealand’s toughest environmental standards aimed at protecting water quality in Lake Taupō. They have successfully converted their farming practice to protect the waterways and produce high quality beef that demands a premium price. The impact of the model has the potential to permanently change New Zealand’s farming practices and consumers’ purchasing behaviour.

Speaking at the time of the award, Rachel Brown said: “Taupō Beef stood out to the judges because it has led the way in successfully farming with fewer livestock and also connecting with consumers who will pay a premium for their products. Told that it wouldn’t work, they are instead receiving outstanding reviews for their beef and are demonstrating how New Zealand farmers can change to produce a high value product while also farming environmentally and sustainably.”

The award judges said “Taupō Beef are leading the change – Mike Barton has recently been asked to chair a Ministry for Primary Industries, Ministry for Business Innovation & Employment, Ministry for the Environment and Ministry of Conservation group with the express purpose to provide a leadership position on the future of New Zealand’s agriculture.”

Entries close on 1 August 2016. For more information and applications see www.sustainable.org.nz/awards.

 

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