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National award winner deeply concerned

National award winner deeply concerned

The Organic Federation of Aotearoa New Zealand (OFANZ) bestowed its annual award for ‘Service to the Organic Sector’ on Bob Crowder at Soil and Health’s Organic 2020 conference in Christchurch over the weekend.

Several leaders of the agriculture, education and political community honored Mr Crowder, a holder of a Queens Award for Biological Farming, founder of BIOGRO and Retired Senior Lecturer from Lincoln University. “Bob and his work at Lincoln’s Biological Husbandry has been inspirational for thousands, many of whom are now leaders in sustainable agriculture in New Zealand and overseas.” Commented Brendan Hoare, the co-convenor of OFANZ.

Mr Crowder reminded the audience of the importance of creating a difference. “Farming biologically is really about paying attention to detail and being skilled in observation. If we follow the principles, results follow. The problem is that skills and the principles in biological farming are not taught. If we get it right it can look beautiful, be inspirational and very productive.”

Mr Crowder, who is internationally recognized for his expertise, was much less supportive of the direction the government has decided to go with GE. “The years of hard work that has gone into creating a clean, green, ‘100% Pure’ image of this country has in my mind always been a bit of a myth. However you could hardly design a better strategy of destroying any remaining hope of authenticity than the government’s currently policy with GE. I am deeply concerned.”

Mr Crowder, is currently in Auckland on a study week. He has been lecturing at UNITEC, exploring progress with sustainable practices at Pukekohe, Visiting Organic certified wholesale and retail businesses and will be addressing the Auckland Organic Growers at their Annual General Meeting this weekend before returning to Christchurch.

Last years award winner was Professor Neil McGregor of Massey University.

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