Friday, July 8, 2022

BLOG: Progress is necessary

New Zealand farmers should enjoy a positive, profitable year according to Rabobank’s 2021 outlook.

Given what’s happening in the world this seems quite hard to believe but demand for our food is strong despite issues with foodservice closures, supply chain stalls and trade barriers.

Of course, the Rabobank analysts point out that we’re living in very uncertain times and things could change quickly.

Brexit issues are still to be fully worked out, our reliance on the Chinese market needs careful management – as Australia is finding out – and ongoing covid lockdowns around the world mean forecasting demand is difficult.

Closer to home freshwater regulations and the just announced carbon budgets will challenge the primary industries at a time when they may feel they need it least.

But this progress is necessary, it comes with being part of a global market that’s speeding up its response to the environmental issues that are becoming more apparent each day.

Still, last week’s research paper from AgResearch, commissioned by DairyNZ, shows farmers have been doing a fantastic job on the sustainability front.

In essence, we already have a head start on the rest of the world and we’re brilliantly placed to push on to show what farming in the future can be like.

To do this we’ll need to embrace the challenge, not step back from it. We need to show our workings and let the world know we’re committed to growing the best food while keeping the most beautiful country in top shape.

Indeed, the financial results from LIC in the past few days show many dairy farmers are using the wiggle room high commodity prices have given to invest in better genetics that balance production with a lower emissions profile.

It’s these types of incremental but important steps that will ensure our continued success.

Bryan Gibson

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