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Federated Farmers 2011 Election Manifesto

Federated Farmers 2011 Election Manifesto

Federated Farmers has launched its own Manifesto for the 2011 General Election and unlike the political parties, isn't soliciting for votes, but wide-ranging support for policies that will advance the country economically and environmentally.

"New Zealand has the real potential to be to food what Apple is to technology. Federated Farmers 2011 Manifesto is all about realising the immense opportunity we have as a nation in a world with seven billion mouths," says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.

"There's a genuine opportunity to at least double the primary sector's current $31 billion export contribution over the next 39 years. This would be good for all New Zealanders.

"Yet we want to do this in accordance with that old but accurate farming cliché, that to be green, you've got to be in the black. It is critical that our farms and our country are economically and environmentally sustainable.

"Our Manifesto is a blueprint for any party to engage with us on. Being apolitical, we hope whoever forms the next government will sit down and talk with us about a positive policy agenda. Federated Farmers is focused on growing a highly successful economy.

"Farmers learned the hard way what being over-extended with debt means. It's a lesson government needs to heed because what it spends has to be earned by taxpayers first.

"Federated Farmers wants value for money. Government spending should not be about the headline figure but what it delivers economically, socially and environmentally. Less could well mean more.

"There is a big role for government to invest wisely with strategic infrastructure. That's been the case with Broadband and Federated Farmers will continue pushing for faster speeds.

"Water storage represents New Zealand's strategic ace. Water storage removes the annual lottery all New Zealanders face from La Niña, El Niño or a changing climate. Our rainfall is plentiful but we miss opportunities with most of it washing out to sea.

"Water storage creates options when combined with enhanced communication and transportation links. These options are vital to attract talented urban and rural people into farming. It also demands clear educational pathways and ongoing professional development for us to remain a knowledge-led profession.

"It may also surprise some that farmers want clean water too. All the farmers I know work hard to leave their farm in a better state than they found it.

"New Zealand's higher global obligation, in a world that now numbers seven billion mouths, is to be the most efficient food producer we can be. It's hard to get there, when New Zealand is the only country on earth looking to put the primary sector's biological emissions into the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

"How we can feed 10 billion mouths by 2050 is the one area New Zealand can be a true world leader. While agriculture is already in the ETS with the rest of New Zealand, adding our biological emissions is a step too far when no other country is doing the same.

"The ETS arose from the late 1990's and the last decade. We've got to look to the future and not to the past when one in seven billion humans are going hungry right now.

"Federated Farmers believes in the positive contribution we can make now and into the future. This is why New Zealand could become the Apple of food by way of primary food production, manufacturing, distribution and consultancy.

"Federated Farmers wishes to play a big part in New Zealand's positive global future," Mr Wills concluded.

For an embargoed copy of Federated Farmers 2011 Manifesto, please click here Federated_Farmers_Manifesto_2011.pdf

[Scoop copy: Federated_Farmers_Manifesto_2011.pdf]

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