Govt can support value-added exports by supporting organic agriculture

The Green Party welcome today’s announcement by Fonterra of a 45 cent per kg milk solids increase in the premium for certified organic milk.

“Fonterra’s approach to organics has been inconsistent, cutting premiums in the past for organic farmers in several regions,” said Green Party organics spokesperson Steffan Browning.

“During a time of difficult dairy prices, organics is a good direction for farmers to take and Fonterra needs to commit long-term to New Zealand organic production, and assure New Zealand farmers that they will not source their organic requirements from offshore.

“Organic milk production is good for our rivers and commands a higher return for the level of inputs invested.

“New Zealand could be an organic food basket, easily meeting the doubling of agricultural export value, that the Government says it is aiming for, yet the Government axed funding to the Organic Advisory Program and Organics Aotearoa New Zealand.

“The Government can support the growth of our organic exports generally by establishing a strong National Policy Statement on Water and phasing out farming practices here that are cruel and inhumane, such as sow crates and battery chicken cages.”

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