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Rural recycling revolution


4 December 2012

Rural recycling revolution

The uptake of on-farm recycling has received a major boost with Federated Farmers and the Agrecovery Foundation, actively joining forces to increase farmer involvement in the Agrecovery recycling programme.

“Federated Farmers stands for profitable sustainable farming. This is a serious advancement that will improve New Zealand farming’s environmental footprint,” says Conor English, Federated Farmers Chief Executive.

“Federated Farmers new role is as ‘Business Manager’ for the Foundation. This role was previously held by Horticulture NZ but Agrecovery has increased its scope.

“The Agrecovery Foundation provides farmers and horticulturalists with an environmentally appropriate way to dispose of unwanted chemicals and containers, silage wrap and even, crop protection netting.

“Each year, more than ten million litres of agricultural and veterinary chemicals are used in the primary industries and that is just what comes in containers. We are talking about containers holding up to 60 litres each.

“It is estimated around 40 percent of these chemicals are used in pastoral farming, but just as important, is getting back the containers these chemicals came in.

“Recycling is the one way we can turn a perceived environmental negative into a big positive. Agrecovery is a product stewardship programme and Federated Farmers is actively investing in the relationship to take it to a new level.

“Environmental stewardship is critical. Our enhanced involvement with Agrecovery continues a strong record of environmental leadership and supports our strategic plan which seeks profitable sustainable farming. The Federation helped to form both the QEII National Trust and the Landcare Trust. We also support the New Zealand Farm Environmental Awards and have been a part of Agrecovery since the beginning.

“Even the estimated weight of baled silage wrap consumed each year is huge at 4,000 tonnes. To put that into perspective, it is more than the combined weights of navy frigate Te Kaha and the patrol vessel Hawera.

“It is a big challenge but the work the Agrecovery Trust does provides a practical solution for farmers to improve their environmental stewardship which Federated Farmers strongly supports,” Mr English finished by saying.

Agrecovery chair, Graeme Peters, thanked Horticulture New Zealand for its work as business manager for the first six years of Agrecovery.

“During this period we have built up excellent support from growers, who see the benefit of using Agrecovery to dispose of waste plastic and chemicals,” Mr Peters said.

“This stronger link with Federated Farmers will build on those results so we achieve greater uptake among pastoral farmers in the years ahead.

“Anders Crofoot, a Federated Farmers Board member, already represents the Federation on the Agrecovery Foundation Trust.

“This wider scope will enable a more hands on approach and means Federated Farmers will work closely with the Hastings-based programme manager, industry stakeholders and the manufacturers of agrichemicals and animal health products.

“Success demands a big team effort because Agrecovery is important to the environment and to the primary industries,” Mr Peters concluded.

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