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'Clean streams accord' strikes Green chord

'Clean streams accord' strikes Green chord

The Green Party today welcomed the signing of the Dairying and Clean Streams Accord by Fonterra, Government ministers and regional councils.

"This is an excellent first step towards New Zealand actually living up to its clean, green claims," Green Agriculture Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street MP said.

Under the Accord, Fonterra - New Zealand's biggest dairy company - will measure suppliers against a range of environmental and animal welfare standards, aimed particularly at cleaning up waterways adjacent to or on farms.

"Opponents to the Accord have got the wrong end of the stick," Mr Ewen-Street said.

"They don't realise that overseas consumers are very wary of exports with a clean, green tag that come from a country that actually has a poor environmental record. We have to ensure we live up to our claims so we don't damage our international reputation.

"Farmers simply can't keep farming the land as if there is no tomorrow. We have to farm sensibly and sustainably, not just for the environment but also for our future generations."

Mr Ewen-Street congratulated Fonterra for holding the moral high ground in the face of strident opposition from the not-so-well informed, who were thinking only of their short-term personal bottom line and not of wider societal and environmental interests.

The Dairying and Clean Streams Accord aims to work towards cleaning up waterways and wetlands within dairying areas within nine years.

"While we really support this initiative, it is a shame that such a long timeframe has been set to achieve the key goals. It would be much better if farmers were to realise the benefits of this scheme, and work towards full implementation as soon as possible," Mr Ewen-Street said.

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