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The antidote to negativity

23 November 2012

The antidote to negativity

The prestigious British supermarket chain, Marks & Spencer, has provided the perfect antidote for those feeling downbeat about New Zealand farming. A Kiwi farming couple are in the spotlight as Marks & Spencer’s most sustainable farming supplier on earth.

“Good things take time but Marks & Spencer have recently updated their sustainability pages to reflect the fantastic achievements of Tim Aitken and Lucy Robertshawe,” says Bruce Wills, President of Federated Farmers.

“Although we announced this last month, I think we need to take stock of what Marks & Spencer have said of Tim and Lucy and by extension, the New Zealand farm system,” Mr Wills added

Farming for the future winner 2012

Tim Aitken & Lucy Robertshawe
Congratulations to Tim Aitken & Lucy Robertshawe who were voted by you as the overall winners of M&S‚ Farming for the Future Awards 2012.

Tim and Lucy farm in the Central Hawkes Bay area of New Zealand and won our International Farming for the Future award this year. They have around 600 breeding hinds on their deer farm and rear the offspring for venison meat, which is sold to M&S.

Farming together since 1994 they have developed their property to provide their livestock with the ideal environment. Native trees and bush have been protected and shelterbelts have been planted. They have developed wetlands for birdlife and to improve the quality of water leaving the farm. They are at the forefront of the venison industry in New Zealand, involved in research and innovation to improve deer farming for New Zealand farmers and deer welfare. Tim and Lucy are actively involved in the farming community, from hosting field days for farmers from all over New Zealand to local schools agricultural classes.

Federated Farmers President, Bruce Wills, feels Tim and Lucy were excellent examples of Kiwi farmers leading the way in sustainable farming.

“The Marks & Spencer Farming for the Future award recognises farmers for how well they treat their livestock, their technical excellence as farmers and their overall environmental performance,” Bruce Wills continued.

“Winning the overall award ahead of the four British finalists is a huge endorsement of Tim and Lucy’s farming system and the esteem New Zealand agriculture is held in overseas.

“Federated Farmers is proud to have this couple as members. We do lead the world in innovative animal welfare and environmental management and sometimes, it takes positive overseas recognition for us to be reminded of this,” Mr Wills concluded.

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