New Zealand’s red meat processing and exporting sector is supporting the Kiwis Backing Farmers campaign, saying the only sustainable way for the government to deliver better outcomes for the environment and the economy is to work with farmers.
The campaign, spearheaded by Beef + Lamb NZ and rural advocacy group 50 Shades of Green, aims to highlight the cumulative effects of successive policies, such as the wholesale conversion of productive sheep and beef farms into carbon farms, on rural communities.
“New Zealand’s sheep and beef farmers are already among the most carbon-efficient and environmentally sustainable producers of red meat in the world,” Meat Industry Association chief executive Sirma Karapeeva said.
“However, successive waves of new regulation in areas such as freshwater, biodiversity and carbon farming are putting the sheep and beef farmers’ status as champions for the environment at risk.
“Many of these regulations could be much better aligned with on-farm practice, and collectively they add unnecessary costs on farmers at a time when inflation and volatile global markets are putting their operations under extreme pressure.”
Karapeeva said the meat processing sector is also concerned about the lack of limits on fossil fuel emitters offsetting their emissions by planting trees on productive land.
“This risks pushing more land into carbon forestry, which will have long-term consequences for the viability of rural communities and the New Zealand economy as a whole,” she said.