Industry unity moves forward
Industry bodies Beef+Lamb NZ, DairyNZ and Federated Farmers have been well aware in recent years of pressure from farmers for the three organisations to do a better job of working together. As part of this process of improvement, the governance of these three groups have agreed to a way forward which outlines the way we will try to work together in future. It is important to note here that Feds is not a levy-funded organisation. We are owned by farmers and run by farmers. This makes us different from the levy bodies and there will always be areas where one or other of us will disagree, but the written statement agreed to (see below) outlines how we will endeavour to work together.
Recently the chairs and Chief Executives of DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand and Federated Farmers met to discuss how we can continue to grow our effectiveness in the future and achieve value for money for farmers.
There are a number of significant consultations coming up that affect farmers – including on climate change and the development of regional plans. This reinforces the need to work even more closely together to maximise our united voices and achieve the best results for farmers.
Going forward, we will be:
• Working together to define each organisation’s role in advocacy, so farmers know who is doing what. We will be closely coordinating our activities and pooling our individual strengths.
• Prioritising advocacy activities – given the significant environmental policy changes expected in the next few years.
• Establishing a joint advocacy plan for each of the 16 regional and district plan consultation processes taking place by 2024. These plans will represent all farmers’ views and streamline advocacy activities. Where possible, a lead agency will be identified for each.
• Addressing one of the most complex areas to resolve – nutrient discharge. We will be developing an approach that deals with this issue in a fair and equitable way for all farmers. We prefer to develop our own solutions rather than see the government impose solutions on farmers.
• Delivering consistent messages on policy issues to central and local government. We believe this will have greater impact on decision makers and provide greater clarity for farmers and rural communities.
We have some significant years ahead of us and a number of milestones to resolve. It’s important we are all united as a sector and we are committed to doing that.
Jim van der Poel - Chair DairyNZ
Andrew Morrison – Chair Beef + Lamb NZ
Andrew Hoggard – President Federated Farmers