Let's go organic, Jacinda!
26 September 2019
The Soil & Health Association is calling on the government to make good Jacinda Ardern’s statement to the United Nations that New Zealand is ‘determined to show that we can be the most sustainable food producers in the world’.
‘Tomorrow school children will lead the School Strike for Climate and we need to give them hope for their future’ said Marion Wood, Chair of Soil & Health. ‘Healthy, living soil is potentially the most important carbon sink our planet has. So we have to take action now to sequester the excess carbon from the air into soil and biomass. Organic and regenerative production methods, which maximise the build up of soil organic matter, are key to sequestering atmospheric carbon and keeping global warming within 1.5ºC.’
The Soil & Health Association points out that New Zealand has followed an intensive, industrial model of farming. This has resulted in a 16% increase in emissions between 1990 and 2015, largely due to an 88.5% increase in the national dairy herd and an approximately 500% increase in nitrogen-containing fertiliser.
As a result we are now reaching critical environmental limits, both in greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss. Yet we have within our grasp a globally recognised system that can enable us to move towards carbon neutrality and provide resilience in the face of extreme weather conditions like drought – certified organic farming.
And all over the world consumers are demanding more evidence of ethical production and environmental effects of farming, so there is a ready market for certified organic produce that is genuinely 100% pure.
‘Let’s march tomorrow in support of our children’, says Marion Wood. ‘And then let’s take action to make Aotearoa the most sustainable organic regenerative farming system in the world. Let’s give our children hope’