“Well done” – Fish & Game congratulates farm environment award winners
- Richie Cosgrove
Fish & Game is congratulating the winners of recent farming awards, saying they are leading the way in showing the agriculture industry that it is possible to look after the environment and make a profit.
Rod and Sandra McKinnon won the supreme award at the Waikato Farm Awards, Wynn and Tracy Brown are the inaugural winners of the New Zealand Dairy Industry Responsible Dairying Award and Ryan and Abby Moseby are the supreme winners of the Southland Balance Farm Environment Awards.
Fish & Game Chief Executive Martin Taylor says the award winners are an example to the whole agriculture industry.
“We congratulate these farmers and are delighted their efforts to care for the environment and farm sustainably while turning a profit have been recognised,” Mr Taylor says.
”More importantly it shows there are some farmers who are doing the right thing, who care about the environment and are prepared to lead by example,” he says.
Martin Taylor supports calls by Waikato Farm Award supreme winners Rod and Sandra McKinnon for big agri companies to financially recognise environmentally caring farmers.
“The McKinnon’s idea for major dairy companies like Fonterra to pay higher prices for milk produced by environmentally responsible farmers is a good one,” Mr Taylor says.
“Why should farmers doing the right thing be penalised by being paid the same price as farmers down the road who are ruining the environment and hurting the good farmers’ reputation?” he says.
“Farmers who invest in systems which lower their environmental impact need to be paid more than those who don’t invest in recuing their pollution.”
Martin Taylor says the big dairy companies need to listen to their top performing suppliers like the McKinnons and show some corporate responsibility.
“The only way we can get positive change is to reward good behaviour. A good place to start is by using the tens of millions of dollars Fonterra and Dairy NZ is presently spending on slick PR to instead clean up the environment.”
Martin Taylor says local government bodies also need to lift their game.
“Regional councils in particular need to start doing their job properly and enforce existing environmental laws,” he says.
“They must start thinking of the future. Instead of shielding poor farmers from reality, they need to be backing the progressive farmers who are doing the right thing and lifting the standard for the whole agriculture industry.
“We have to do better, for the sake of our environmental and economic well-being,” Martin Taylor says.