25 September 2015
A major celebration of environmental excellence will be held in Northland next year.
The New Zealand Farm Environment Trust’s National Sustainability Showcase is a key event on the nation’s farming calendar and recognises the efforts of Supreme Winners in the Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA).
New Zealand Farm Environment (NZFE) Trust chairman Simon Saunders says the Trust was pleased to announce the Showcase will be held in Northland for the first time.
“Northland is a long-standing supporter of the awards, so it’s a great way of acknowledging the region’s contribution to the competition. Northland farmers have been through some tough times over the last decade but they have continued to back the awards and we’ve seen some exceptional examples of sustainable farming come out of the region.
“It’s also really exciting to be able to recognise the efforts the Northland farming community and the Northland Regional Council have put into making the Northland awards such a huge success.”
To be held on June 22, 2016, at the Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Bay of Islands, the National Sustainability Showcase will highlight the very best of New Zealand farming and is expected to draw more than 300 farming leaders and industry representatives.
Bill Shepherd, chairman of the Northland Regional Council, says the council is delighted the National Sustainability Showcase will be held in Northland.
“Northland Regional Council staff put a considerable amount of time and effort into supporting the awards programme,” he says.
“We view the awards as a very worthwhile concept to support because they encourage sustainable land management, which is a key council goal, and reinforce the crucial message that profitability does not need to come at the expense of our environment.”
Mr Shepherd says Northland Regional Council is proud of its role as both an environmental guardian and an advocate for sustainable economic growth.
He says the 2016 National Sustainability Showcase will put the spotlight on Northland, providing the region with a great opportunity to highlight environmental excellence while celebrating the significant contribution agriculture and horticulture make to the local economy.
Northland BFEA chairman Shayne O’Shea, a past Supreme winner, says the National Sustainability Showcase will be a “magic event” for Northland.
“Having hundreds of farming leaders and industry people from around the country coming here gives us a fantastic forum to show off the jewel in New Zealand’s farming crown.”
The Showcase announcement was made at a special function to celebrate Northland’s tenth year in the Ballance Farm Environment Awards. Held on September 24, this event reunited all the region’s past Supreme winners from the last decade.
“We had winners from sheep and beef, dairying and the horticultural sectors and it was great to bring them all together to celebrate their achievements and see how the primary industry in the region has evolved since the competition began.”
Entries are still open for the 2016 Northland BFEA and Mr O’Shea says all farmers and horticulturists should consider entering the competition.
The Ballance Farm Environment Awards are open to all farming types. Entry is free and entry forms are available online at www.bfea.org.nz