Tuesday, 02 April 2024 14:18

Plant-based threat

Written by  Milking It

OPINION: Should the New Zealand dairy sector be worried?

A report out last week warns that that the dairy sector in New Zealand is more threatened by the development of alternative proteins than our meat producers.

The AgResearch report predicts that greater global demand for plant protein will have economic and environmental benefits for New Zealand, but the economic benefits will be unevenly distributed and the size of our pastoral farming sector is likely to reduce.

For example, in Canterbury, a scenario for 2050 in which demand for all alternative proteins increases 22% has the potential to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by over one-third, and decrease nitrogen loss by almost 15% while increasing economic output 15% with a shift of some intensive dairy to horticulture and arable land use.

The report calls for a national policy or strategy to help New Zealand prepare for the risks and potential opportunities of alternative proteins.

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