Reducing costs for farmers and growers

Photo: File/SunLive.

Labour will support farmers and growers to get greater returns for their hard work by committing an initial $50 million to support integrated farm planning. 

“By partnering with the industry we will create a single planning framework that will reduce costs for every farmer and grower, reduce the burden of compliance and help our agrisector get greater economic returns for their products,” Labour leader Jacinda Ardern says. 

“New Zealand’s farmers and growers are creative, innovative and always look to improve their practices. A single farm plan will help them to capture all of their compliance requirements in one place, achieve their economic goals and support the transition to a clean, green carbon neutral New Zealand.

“Our primary sector is world-renowned for its trusted, healthy and safe food and fibre and has proved resilient through COVID-19. The sector is already in recovery with record export prices, helping us to grow our way out of the economic crisis of the global pandemic." 

She says Labour will support  by making it easier, cheaper and less time consuming to meet various regulatory and reporting requirements.

“We’ve proven through the Mycoplasma bovis eradication effort, He Waka Eke Noa and the development of the Fit for a Better World Roadmap that partnership with the sector works,” Ardern says. 

Once fully rolled out, a farm plan will provide a framework which will meet all on-property requirements for farmers and growers, including environmental management, labour, biosecurity and health and safety, replacing the overlapping and wide ranging reporting, auditing and consents that are currently required.

“We will build on the work we have already undertaken with industry by providing initial funding to kick-start a closer collaboration with the sector to develop integrated farm planning that works,” Agriculture spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. 

“It can cost farmers and growers between $5,000 and $10,000 for each property to develop an integrated farm plan and we will create a cost-sharing agreement with industry that will ensure every farmer and grower pays less for their compliance.

“Cohesive national farm plans that adopt a whole of farm approach will ensure that we stay ahead of the curve internationally when it comes to good farming practice.

“One of the first farm plan templates to be rolled out will seek to replace the consent process for intensive winter grazing. Working with the regional councils and the industry we will design a template that makes applying for intensive winter grazing consent much easier or, over time, supersedes the need for the consent process. 

“Our primary sector is a huge part of our economy and our brand, and will be vital in our economic recovery from COVID-19, which is why we need to work with them and support the industry,”  O’Connor says. 

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