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Launch of the Aerial Spreadmark Code of Practice

Hon Jim Anderton

Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity
Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Forestry
Associate Minister of Health
Associate Minister for Tertiary Education

Progressive Leader

13 June 2006 Media Statement

Launch of the Aerial Spreadmark Code of Practice, the Fert-smart DVD and their new Fertiliser Quality Council website

In Palmerston North, Jim Anderton, Minister of Agriculture, today launched the Aerial Spreadmark Code of Practice, the Fert-Smart DVD and a new Fertiliser Quality Council website. Jim Anderton said that countries, like New Zealand, are coming under increasing pressure to prove that their methods of agriculture production are climate friendly as well as socially and environmentally responsible. At the Aerial Spreadmark launch, he congratulated the companies for staying ahead of the challenges coming on this front.

"The way of the future will require fertiliser to be applied more accurately to meet the precise nutrient needs of a particular crop or farming system. Increasingly on farm quality assurance schemes are driven by the consumers desire to be reassured that the food that they eat is safe and free from harmful contaminants. This is driving traceability schemes where the farmer is required to be able to say that all on farm practices are carried out to a standard that ensures total safety of the food product," Jim Anderton.

"Spreadmark is an accredited company and has been accepted by EurepGAP as being certified to apply fertiliser on to horticultural crops that are exported to Europe. The robust audit process of the code is what has persuaded European importers to accept Spreadmark, rather than requiring growers to implement a separate input traceability system. This is really staying ahead of the challenges, which will increasingly be part of our trade with countries of first world economic status.

"Society is raising the environmental standards for land users and is voicing concern about the water quality in our rivers and lakes. At the same time farmers are increasing the use of fertiliser and nitrogen on hill country to achieve greater productivity. To meet both of these demands the aerial spreading industry and farmers need to use the latest tools and knowledge available. These include nutrient budgets, GIS maps, aircraft GPS systems and the science that has gone into the Aerial Code of Practice.

"Our investment in innovation and science allow us to overcome our chief disadvantage - our distance from our markets. Science and skills will help us to stay ahead of the game as world markets change even faster. The investment this industry makes in research and the effort it is putting into quality will help to maintain its competitive edge.

"Industry partnerships like that of the Fertiliser Quality Council which link the aerial spreading industry to the total fertiliser manufacturing, fertiliser spreading and land user industries are important in taking our industry forward. They also have the ability to leverage industry funding with government funding through the Sustainable Farming Fund to develop the kind of industry services that are being launched today.

"I congratulate you on your innovative approach and am very pleased to launch the Aerial Spreadmark Code of Practice, the Fert-smart DVD and the new FQC website. I wish you all the best for the future," Jim Anderton said at the launch.


ENDS

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