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Statement Shows Woeful Grasp Of Organics

Statement Shows Woeful Grasp Of Organics


Charlie Pedersen, of Federated Farmers, is again commenting on farming, economics and the environment.

His latest statement, in The NZ Heralds’ The Business on Monday 9th October, shows a woeful grasp of Organics and the effects of chemical farming on the environment, says Beth Stone of Outdoor Recreation NZ.

Nitrate runoff has detrimental impacts on aquatic life and the quality of drinking water. During an experiment conducted by Sasha B. Cramer and colleagues from Stanford University, it was found that nitrate leaching, over an entire year, was 4.4 to 5.6 times higher under conventional fertilizing routines than under two different organic regimes.

In New Zealand, many farmers are trying to farm in a more sustainable and economic manner and they deserve more recognition, both from the public and from their own organisation. We applaud them. These farmers are the very people we need to look to, to help preserve and repair our waterways. Every New Zealander has the right to clean water and to the produce from our rivers, lakes and seas. We cannot have that if our waterways are constantly under pressure from unsound farming practices.

Miss Stone goes on to add that it is wrong to assume that people will not pay a premium for organic produce, because they are not willing to pay a premium for a Kiwi brand of ‘clean and green’. People will pay more for something known to be pure, but not for the usual chemically farmed produce, no matter where it is grown.

Seagar Mason, BioGro NZ’s Technical Services Manager, makes a good point about the unpleasant farming often practised in New Zealand. Good land, farmed well, will always produce as much, or more, than chemically farmed land and animals farmed in a stress reduced manner produce sweeter meat. New Zealanders could again be proud of our farming practices. Although there may be a short term downturn in profit during the transitional phase from chemical to organic farming, the downturn is usually reversed once transition is completed. The world market for organic produce is so great that, if the whole of New Zealand agriculture were to begin the transition to organics today, in three years when the process was completed, we still could not satisfy demand. As well, our appeal to tourists may well increase and most certainly would not decrease.

It makes economic, environmental and recreational sense to at least consider with an open mind the possible benefits of organics to New Zealand.

Ends

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