Tuesday, 22 December 2020 05:55

Sustainability is top issue

Written by  Peter Burke
The EU is expected to place strong emphasis on NZ's commitment to sustainability in any FTA that is finally negotiated. Image credit: Paul Sutherland Photography. The EU is expected to place strong emphasis on NZ's commitment to sustainability in any FTA that is finally negotiated. Image credit: Paul Sutherland Photography.

NZ's primary sector's strong commitment to sustainability holds the key to the country obtaining a quality, comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union.

Negotiations on an FTA have been going on for the past three years and it's hoped a deal can be agreed within the next couple of years at the latest.

Government and industry sources have told Rural News that the European parliament, which has to ratify any FTA, will place strong emphasis on NZ's commitment to sustainability. The message being put out to the farming community by officials is that they need to get real about sustainability and that anything less than a full commitment could put an agreement at risk.

Rural News understands that NZ officials have already been quizzed about our country's environmental credentials and how far we are prepared to go in order to sign up to in any FTA.

NZ has already signed up to such issues in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership or CPTPP and this may help reassure EU parliamentarians about our commitment to highly enforceable environmental standards. There is apparently the question of what commitment NZ may make in terms of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Of all the FTA's in the pipeline, the one with the EU will be the one that can deliver the greatest benefit to the NZ primary sector with dairy, meat and wine and horticulture beneficiaries.

The message going out to farmers is that any push back on sustainability could have consequences for them. The line being pushed is that NZ should take control of these standards and avoid the EU stepping in and writing the rules for us. 

More like this

Fresh focus on sustainable dairying

Sustainability is one of the main challenges facing the current generation of dairy farmers, says Waikato farmer and new Dairy Environment Leaders programme chair Melissa Slattery.

Sustainability guardians

New Zealand Winegrowers has ramped up its sustainability goals, with a raft of new and improved measures to safeguard our “planet, people and profit”, says General Manager Sustainability Dr Edwin Massey.


Merlo goes greener

Obviously not wishing to get left behind by some of its competitors, Italian manufacturer Merlo is planning to add to its green-liveried telehandler range- with another set of green credentials in the shape of an all-new, all-electric battery-powered Merlo e-Worker model.


Growing a family legacy

What started with planting some acacia trees 25 years ago has become a multi-generational passion for the Hunt family in Te Awamutu.

Moves to improve winter grazing requirements

DairyNZ says it supports recommendations to the Government from an advisory group looking to improve winter grazing rules for farmers and achieve better environmental outcomes.


Machinery & Products

Good growth year for Claas

While many sectors of the agricultural machinery were hit by the ravages of Covid-19, the effects of the pandemic did…

Green machine frugal on fuel

According to the industry respected independent DLG PowerMix test, John Deere appears to be the best choice of tractor for…

App takes pressure off

TRS Tyre & Wheel, owned by Trelleborg Wheel Systems, has introduced the TLC Plus App to the New Zealand market.

New MF 5S series arrives

Just before Christmas, Massey Ferguson quietly released details of the successor to its popular MF 5700S range in the shape…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound


Your old mate reckons the nomination of the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards (NZDIA) management team as a finalists in…

Good riddance!

The Hound reckons 2021 is off to a rollicking start with news that professional whinger and anti-farming drone Martin Taylor…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter