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Kiwi farmers 'take a bow' on World Food Day

October 16 2008

Kiwi farmers 'take a bow' on World Food Day

On World Food Day 2008, Federated Farmers President, Don Nicolson, called on all New Zealanders to stand up and celebrate the contribution farmers make to both the economy and the world's need for food. Mr Nicolson said:

"Farmers are proud to be the 'thin line of gumboots' literally keeping New Zealand from an economic depression. With 61% of everything we sell to the world coming from the primary sector, the livelihood of almost every New Zealander depends on the hard work of our farmers.

"World Food Day is the perfect opportunity for everyone to appreciate the wonderful access we have to the best quality food in the world.

"Think of what goes into your breakfast cereals, sourced from the world's best arable crops matched with milk from our free range cows. Appreciate the hard work of our apiarists as you spread honey onto your toast and when you come to have beef or lamb for dinner, the hard work put in by our magnificent sheep and beef farmers."

New Zealand's farmers stand ready to meet the challenge posed by rapidly rising demand for food worldwide, growing at 80 million mouths every year. The 2008 World Food Day theme focuses on the increased cost for food as a result of climate change and global demand. With drought hitting New Zealand's agricultural output in the last season, Federated Farmers was alert to farmers' needs by assisting them though adverse events and launching campaigns like T150, to improve the profitability and viability of sheep farming. Mr Nicolson continued:

"New Zealand has an agricultural sector that is world class, efficient and subsidy free. Despite competing on an uneven playing field we help feed more than 0.7% of the world's population but produce less than 0.1% of global emissions. That's why we think it wrong agriculture is included in our emissions trading scheme; we are the only country on earth to do so.

"With the underlying world food situation changing from surplus to shortage, World Food Day is a time for our politicians to stop and reflect on the need for our farmers to produce more food for the world, not less."


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