DairyNZ head consulting officer in the South Island, Tony Finch, says his first priority has been to get an accurate assessment of the extent of the damage on farms affected by the floods.
“New Zealand dairy has a great story to tell and we are seeing that realised through public sentiment, with 73% of people recently surveyed being favourable toward dairy farmers,” says DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle.
“This is tremendous recognition for farmers playing a key role right now – dually supporting our economic recovery post-Covid while shifting how their day-to-day business operates to further deliver for environment, animals and people.”
Survey results also show a marked increase in overall positivity in the last six months – with 62% of the public feeling positive toward New Zealand’s dairy sector.
“Overall, research is telling us the public are feeling good about dairy – our farmers are inspiring young Kiwis, contributing to communities and are an attractive career option. This is great recognition.”
Mackle says New Zealand’s dairy farmers have made great strides in environmental initiatives and it’s important to champion them as they commit to do even more.
“The emissions created from every glass of New Zealand milk are less than half the global average. Our farmers are shifting toward increasingly sustainable systems. It’s a big challenge – securing farm systems which are profitable, while minimising footprint,” says Mackle.
“Right now, DairyNZ’s Step Change programme is underway to support farmers with climate change and water quality goals. It will help farmers reduce greenhouse gases, improve water and maintain profitable businesses.
“The world is changing and dairy is moving with it. Our farmers are on the journey, but we want to continue raising the bar to maintain our position as world leading farmers,” he says.
“Kiwi dairy farmers have a long and proud history of innovation – rising to challenges, and it is in those moments they shine.”