As we head into another year, there’s a sense that the environment in which we farm is evolving. There are a range of initiatives on the horizon that will be transformational for dairying.
He waka eke noa
Last October, the Government accepted the farming sector’s proposal – He waka eke noa – to replace the Government’s original objective of bringing farming into the Emissions Trading Scheme and introducing a processor levy. He waka eke noa is a five-year plan to ensure every farmer knows where their emissions are coming from and what they can do to manage them.
In our view, this partnership between the farming sector, the Government and Māori has a much better chance of achieving a better practical outcome for everyone. It will ensure all farms have a Farm Environment Plan (FEP) by 2025, and that an enduring farm-level emissions reduction framework is built.
2020 will be the first year of He waka eke noa. We’ll be setting common standards for on-farm reporting of greenhouse gases, and working to include greenhouse gas emissions in FEPs. This will ensure every farmer knows their emissions ‘number’ by 2022.
We are awaiting the outcome of the Government’s Essential Freshwater policy, which attracted nearly 18,000 submissions. The policy came at a busy time last spring, yet many farmers wrote submissions and attended meetings. Thank you all for that. It shows your high level of engagement and your commitment to finding practical solutions for everyone.
DairyNZ made a submission on behalf of dairy farmers, providing evidence-based research and analysis. Our analysis showed the proposal, as it stands, would cost $6 billion per year by 2050. Our submission highlighted that water quality targets could still be met without disrupting proposals in their present form.
We’ll be aiming to influence the Essential Freshwater outcome and will continue to represent and support farmers.
An important vote
We’ll be asking for your vote on the DairyNZ Levy in May. Every six years, you have the opportunity to vote to continue the DairyNZ Levy, as the industry-good body that represents dairy farmers.
All levy-paying farmers will receive voting packs in the post from late April. I encourage you to get involved in the process and ensure your neighbours and friends have their say too. DairyNZ is your organisation – it’s important we receive your vote during May.
Finally, I look forward to another productive year on the farm. After all, that’s what we are about – running efficient, effective and sustainable farms that create a good life for our families.
This article was originally published in Inside Dairy February 2020