The agriculture emissions pricing plan released by the Government today is thoughtlessly timed and lacks the detail dairy farming needs for a viable solution, says DairyNZ.
Today’s announcement follows a further reduction in the forecast milk price, delivering yet another blow to a sector already under intense pressure.
DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel says today’s outcome comes after a significant delay and does not reflect the progress the dairy sector has been seeking.
“It shows little understanding of the challenges dairy farmers are facing this season. Dairy farmers are facing significant pressure right now, with business viability under threat.
“The issue of emissions pricing is of huge importance behind the farm gate, and we all need to keep our farmers top of mind. We will continue to work with government on this to seek a workable solution – no deal is still better than a bad deal," he says.
DairyNZ acknowledges the issues the sector raised in December have been considered but today’s announcement lacks the detail the sector needs to provide confidence in the next steps towards implementation. For example, how revenue will be recycled has not been detailed.
“It is also not appropriate to announce emissions pricing without some sort of guide around cost – farmers need to know the detail, to be able to plan.”
The sector remains committed to landing a constructive, workable solution to agricultural emissions. However the government’s proposal does not yet deliver what farmers need to understand the impact of the scheme on their businesses.
“Today’s news comes with a dire lack of detail and continues the uncertainty that’s been hanging over farmers since 2018,” Mr van der Poel says.
“We have been really clear – we will not accept policy that threatens farm businesses and rural communities. Pricing was only ever needed to facilitate the necessary change. It will not achieve anything unless cost-effective tools and technology are available.
DairyNZ is working closely with farmers to support them to remain viable this season – and we continue to advocate on their behalf, along with sector partners, for a fair, workable solution based on incentives to drive change.
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