Greens unveil $297m fund to support sustainable food and farming

The Green Party has released its Farming for the Future Plan, including a $297m fund to support farmers and growers to transition to climate-friendly practices. 

The plan will:

  • Improve how we look after our land and water, with a levy on the use of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilisers, phasing in stronger limits in the National Environmental Standard for Freshwater Management to progressively reduce nitrogen pollution; and a ban on the import and use of PKE as supplementary feed.
  • Directly support farmers and growers to transition to sustainable regenerative practices, with a $297m fund.
  • Encourage New Zealanders to buy ethically and Kiwi-made, by overhauling the certification and labelling for sustainably-grown and organic products; and extending country-of-origin labelling.
  • Promote buying local with funding for urban food gardens and community agriculture.
  • Work with tangata whenua and within a te Tiriti o Waitangi framework to establish a resource rental on commercial use of water.
  • Ensure our land use is diverse and sustainable, by changing the rules around forestry and strengthening land use rules to protect high quality soils and farmland.

Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said today:

“As we recover from COVID-19 we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the way we grow and produce food. By making smart decisions now, we can create a farming sector that is good for farmers, people and the planet.  

“Farming is at the frontline of the climate crisis, and any credible climate action must support people in the sector to transition to more sustainable practices.

“Successive governments have encouraged intensive farming, and prioritised profit over the environment and climate. This quantity-over-quality approach has degraded our rivers and waterways, harmed animals, and is warming the climate.

“Our Farming for the Future Plan supports farmers to be part of the solution to the climate crisis, by offering grants, loans, and other resources to support the transition to low-emissions farming.

“Our vision recognises the environmental impacts of our reliance on harmful artificial fertilisers and imported supplementary feed, and incentivises people to move away from using these products and practises.

“We will overhaul how we label our food so farmers can get a premium for producing healthy, sustainable food. With clear new rules, all of us will be able to see when our food has been sustainably produced and make the best choices for our families whether we buy at farmers’ markets or supermarkets. 

“This is a bold, transformation plan to ensure a just transition away from intensive farming, which will help us meet our obligations under the Zero Carbon Act and ensure our grandchildren have a planet to live on.

“If we think ahead and act now, New Zealand can have a thriving, sustainable regenerative farming sector which ensures we all have what we need and are protecting our precious environment.”

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