Thursday, 01 April 2021 06:55

Editorial: Spreading the good word

Written by  Staff Reporters
Malcolm Bailey, chairman of Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand. Malcolm Bailey, chairman of Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand.

OPINION: Hats off to the New Zealand dairy industry for telling its story to the world.

We have a great story to tell. Our farmers are world leaders in animal welfare and climate change. And, unlike producers in many other nations, they do it without direct, free-trade distorting subsidies.

The NZ dairy industry turns milk into more than 1,500 products and product specifications and generates almost $20 billion in annual export returns.

Our cultural characteristics of trust, integrity and ingenuity underpin a strong global reputation for product safety and quality. New Zealand achieved a score of 100 out of 100 for food safety in the Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Food Security Index.

The New Zealand Dairy Story has been added to the New Zealand Story online toolkit and is one of dairy goodness for the world.

It sets out New Zealand's unique combination qualities as a country - our natural advantages, our care, our ingenuity and our integrity - and how they come together to make New Zealand a great source of milk, and therefore of dairy nutrition for a sustainable die.

Developed in partnership by Dairy Companies Association of NZ, New Zealand Story, and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise - with input and support from DairyNZ, Federated Farmers, and Dairy Women's Network - it adds dairy-specific resources to the New Zealand Story toolkit.

The story highlights temperate climate, good soils, and abundant rainfall provide the potential for year-round pasture grazing. The milk produced is a highly digestible source of the nine essential amino acids (which must be consumed through diet) and naturally contains other essential vitamins and minerals.

New Zealand's farmers and dairy companies produce the equivalent of two and a half serves of milk per day for around 90 million people each year. Many of whom are in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, where there are not the same natural resources to produce milk.

Our temperate climate and soils are such that our cows can be outside almost every day, eating grass, behaving naturally and having space to roam.

Federated Farmers dairy chairman Wayne Langford rightly says: "Our dairy story really is one of integrity, innovation and kaitiakitanga."

And we should be telling the world about it.

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