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Federated Farmers’ Statements ‘Unreal’

MEDIA RELEASE


23 November 2007


Federated Farmers’ Statements ‘Unreal’

Fish & Game New Zealand cannot understand how Federated Farmers can anticipate endless growth in production from a finite natural resource base of land and water.

“Comments such as, ‘the federation cannot accept capping agriculture’, and ‘farmers cannot continue farming unless productivity gains are available’ made by Federate Farmers President Charlie Pedersen yesterday demonstrate a complete lack of reality,” said Bryce Johnson, Chief Executive of Fish & Game New Zealand.

“Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton is right on the button when he noted that Mr. Pedersen clearly fails to understand is that the land and water farmers use has a carrying capacity and there is a limit to what any system can cope with. This is a simple and fundamental ecological reality.”

“Fish & Game New Zealand supports Jim Anderton’s statements that, ‘we have to accept there are limits to production output and it is not acceptable to keep intensifying production regardless of the [environmental] impacts’. He also notes, perhaps belatedly, that in some cases farming systems are at the limit now and that we must accept ‘screwing more out of the system’ is no longer an option.”

“Mr Pedersen suggests unfettered agricultural development will deliver a better standard on living for all New Zealanders – an outcome hard to visualise where the country’s lowland waterways become a vast bovine sewerage system.“

“We’ve had enough talk and urgently need action. Federated Farmers needs to join the real world and embrace environmentally sustainable farming as the only secure future for New Zealand, both internationally and domestically. The Government’s Primary Industries Summit to be held in Christchurch next week [28/29 November] is an opportunity to deliver results and put an end to fanciful thinking around unlimited agricultural production and environmental degradation.”

ENDS


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