New Zealand generates much of its wealth from its agricultural activities, but at what cost to the land?
Concerns about farming and the environment are not a recent development. Damage to the South Islands high country were first investigated by a Parliamentary commission of enquiry back in 1920. More recently, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment linked a number of environmental issues to intensified farming.
Fonterra has put their hand up to take a leading role in moving agriculture toward an environmentally sustainable basis, its director of social responsibility has pledged.
Fonterra’s social responsibility chief, Carolyn Mortland, warned that the world is witnessing an ever-growing demand for nutrition from a system that is close to, or in some cases past, the boundaries of the planet’s ability to provide it. She added that New Zealand’s agricultural sector is well-placed to lead the way.
“We know how to look after pasture, crops and animals and we have extremely innovative farmers and people,” she said. “And we come from an economy in a developed part of the world which means we are best placed to adapt to the new world”. There’s no doubt that New Zealand hopes for its rich agricultural sector to continue to sit on top of the world for generations to come.
Fonterra has already taken steps to increase energy efficiency in their factories, adding solar lighting and heat transfer technology in their Edendale facility. The next step is to transfer these ideas to their farms.
New Zealand’s Dairy News reported her as saying Fonterra would support its own farmers through the process, collaborate with others on a regional, national and international level, and would invest in scientific innovations to lessen the industry’s environmental footprint.
“It will take collaboration,” she said, “whether that is through technological solutions or catchment care groups. It will not happen through solitary efforts”.
How TRS Can Help:
This movement is happening now, and New Zealand needs inventive minds to help in this nation wide collaboration. Not only could you be working in a sector which is making massive strides forward financially, agriculture is making huge steps forward environmentally. TRS and Fonterra have a close connection, and we can get you connected. If you are interested check out our Food, Dairy and Pharmaceuticals page and meet the team, alternatively don’t hesitate to contact our consultants in this sector by emailing Tony De Barr at firstname.lastname@example.org or ringing us on 0800-171-000.
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