Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

NZ organic sector deserves support seen in Europe

4 November 2005

NZ organic sector deserves levels of support seen in Europe

New Zealand's organic sector urgently needs the sort of political and institutional support it receives in European countries, Green Party Organics Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

She made her remarks as guest speaker at the launch today of Organics Aotearoa New Zealand. The Greens recent cooperation agreement with the Government includes a commitment to fund organic advisory services, a move the Party sees as the first step towards substantive support for the sector.

"When it comes to organics, New Zealand lags way, way behind European countries like Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria and the United Kingdom," Ms Kedgley says.

"Extraordinarily, despite the promotion of our clean green image overseas, less than one percent of our agricultural land is in organic production - a tiny 0.24 percent. To put that into sharper perspective, Austria has some 12.5 percent of its farmland in organic production. New Zealand's lack of vision and commitment means it is missing out on the expanding international niche market for organic food."

Ms Kedgley says she cannot understand why a country that markets itself as being the leading edge of innovative agriculture has been so slow to embrace organics.

"One of the problems is that there is no real incentive to switch to organics, as producers and growers are not required to pick up the real environmental cost of conventional agriculture - the taxpayers and society as a whole are picking up the tab. I am astonished that there is still an institutional lack of support, and even outright hostility, to organics in some sections of government."

The major financial support for organics in Europe now comes through the EU's agri-environment programme. Support takes the form of advisory and research services, procurement policies, consumer education and payments made to farmers as a way to recognise the that they are not placing as great a load on the environment. In 2003 support for organic farming amounted to EUR86 million in Austria and EUR100 million in Germany. Since 1995, interest and dividends on investments in organic activities in the Netherlands have been tax-free and organic producers and processors have been able to get loans at reduced interest rates.

"Providing institutional support and incentives to convert to organic and more sustainable farming practices makes simple economic sense," Ms Kedgley says.

"By switching to organics we solve most of the environmental, health and social problems that we have created with industrialised and conventional food production. It repairs our damaged soils, protects our wildlife, cuts down on energy, oil and water consumption, reduces the pollution of our waterways and, importantly, ensures animals are treated with respect. Why on earth wouldn't we support incentives to create all of those environmental and other savings?"

Ms Kedgley's speech to OANZ is at www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/speech9349.html

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Why The Public Doesn't Always Do As Told, Even In 24 Languages


Today we were told that the Covid vaccines available to New Zealand are both halal and kosher. Good to know. And good to officially recognise that we’re no longer living in a monoculture. Reportedly, the government is putting its Covid messages in 24 different languages on its website. Yet according to its critics that’s not enough. Supposedly, we could have avoided the need for the latest lockdowns entirely if only the government had shown better communications skills... More>>


 


Government: Next Stage Of COVID-19 Support For Business And Workers

The Government has confirmed details of COVID-19 support for business and workers following the increased alert levels due to a resurgence of the virus over the weekend... More>>

ALSO:




Government: PHARMAC Review Announced

The Government is following through on an election promise to conduct an independent review into PHARMAC, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little announced today... More>>

ALSO:


Government: Main Benefits To Increase In Line With Wages

All measures of child poverty were trending downwards, prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, across the two years since year ended June 2018, Stats NZ said today. The COVID-19 lockdown in late March 2020 affected Stats NZ’s ability to collect data from households ... More>>


Covid-19: Auckland Back To Alert Level Three After One New Community Case Revealed

Auckland will move to alert level three for a week at 6am tomorrow morning after two new Covid-19 community cases announced this evening could not be directly linked to earlier cases, the Prime Minister has confirmed.
The rest of the country will move to level two.... More>>

NZ Initiative: New Report Highlights How Our Housing Crisis Could Worsen If We Don’t Act Now

If New Zealand politicians thought the housing crisis in 2020 was bad, the worst is yet to come, warns a new report by The New Zealand Initiative. In The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand , Research Assistant Leonard Hong ... More>>

Parliament: Kiwi MPs Among The “Most Educated In The World”

New analysis of MP qualifications reveals New Zealand’s Parliament is one of the most educated and highest qualified in the world, and significantly more educated than Australia’s. The research, by Mark Blackham of BlacklandPR and Geoffrey Miller ... More>>

The Dig: An Illogical Ideological Struggle

Dig beneath all the trade wars and the arguments to the effect that the USA should not permit China to achieve economic and technological superiority, or even parity, and you find the real reason behind the conflict... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels