Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector.
“I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said.
“The international consumers who buy our world-class product increasingly want to know the story behind their food. They want to know it’s climate friendly and sustainably produced, with high animal welfare standards and by a workforce that’s treated with respect and paid fairly.
“By using Fit for a Better World as our guide, I’m confident we’ll achieve premiums in the marketplace from consumers seeking out our food and produce.
“As a government we’re committed to helping farmers and growers get more value for their work while protecting our unique environment.
Mr O’Connor thanked the council for its work.
“Our nation’s farmers and growers produce some of the highest quality food and fibre in the world, but we must adapt to our consumers’ changing needs.
“I established the Primary Sector Council to provide fresh thinking and develop a vision to help sectors navigate the environmental and sustainability challenges it faces.
“The council’s engagement with Kiwi farmers, growers, fishers, makers and crafters has resulted in a vision which the sector can rally around.”
Mr O’Connor said the council would develop its final report and recommendations, which were expected in March 2020.
“The next step is taking the vision and turn it into a realistic and workable plan. To that end, we will establish a new partnership called Food and Fibres Aotearoa New Zealand. It will involve Government, industry and Māori working together to deliver meaningful change.”
The Primary Sector Council’s vision, fitforabetterworld.org.nz, was launched at Lincoln University today.
Notes for editors
The members of the establishment group will be:
Lain Jager (Independent Chair), Ray Smith (MPI), Carolyn Tremain (MBIE), Andrew Morrison (Beef & Lamb sector), Jim Van der Poel (Dairy sector), Barry O’Neil (Hort sector), David Rhodes (Forestry sector), Miriana Stephens (PSC Transition member), Traci Houpapa (FOMA).
This small initial group will focus on developing options at pace. As this work progresses the group will expand to ensure sectors such as fisheries and viticulture are included in the long-term structure.