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"Eco-Labels" Must Reflect The Reality.

"Eco-Labels" Must Reflect The Reality.

"The European Union's eco-labeling scheme presents great opportunities for New Zealand's primary industries, but this accreditation depends on more than fine words and good intentions," said Bryce Johnson, Chief Executive Fish & Game New Zealand, "and we will need to validate the reality in our rivers, streams, lakes, aquifers and wetlands."

"It is pleasing to see Federated Farmers President Charlie Pedersen agreeing with the need for 'Eco-labels' and the necessary validation, as recognising the problem is half the solution. A number of overseas commentators have expressed concerns about a lack of audited backup to our grand claims, and we look forward to Federated Farmers now supporting on-farm audits of environmental sustainably best farming practice."

"We currently enjoy a competitive international advantage through our clean, green and 100% Pure branding. Some agricultural sector leaders and many farmers are working to implement environmentally sustainable practices, and some regional councils are tightening up their compliance efforts. But the reality is many are also well behind in implementing environmentally sustainable practices, and this shows up in our waterways. The Ministry for the Environment's report "Environment New Zealand 2007" is simply the latest record of deteriorating freshwater quality."

"Kiwi exporters have every opportunity to see huge gains from environmental accreditation schemes, and many suggest that this is crucial for the future of our primary industries. But we must ensure the label matches the reality, and it only takes a few to erode the credibility of these schemes. Each agricultural sector needs to take greater responsibility for its adverse environmental effects, and mandatory environmentally sustainable best practice is the best form of accreditation."


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