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New Partnership Promotes Sustainable Farming

1 January 2010

New Partnership Promotes Sustainable Farming

Federated Farmers President Don Nicolson and NZFEA Chairman Jim Cotman

The New Zealand Farm Environment Awards (NZFEA) Trust has formed a partnership with Federated Farmers as both organisations look to further the cause of sustainable farming.

NZFEA is the organiser of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards and Federated Farmers is the country's leading farmer lobby group.

In announcing the partnership, NZFEA chairman Jim Cotman says that while the trust is independent and non-political, "it makes sense for us to work together with Federated Farmers to help farmers improve the sustainability of their businesses".

Federated Farmers is now among a number of leading rural organisations to share a direct partnership with NZFEA. Other partners include Fonterra, MAF, DairyNZ and the QEII National Trust.

"We are always looking to find organisations we can share common goals with," says Mr Cotman.

"As well as having direct benefits for New Zealand farmers, these relationships also show the overseas consumers of our products that we are united in our efforts to farm as sustainably as we can."

Federated Farmers President, Don Nicolson says the Federation's involvement with the New Zealand Farm Environment Award Trust continues a long tradition of leadership inside and outside of the farm gate.

"Farmers are guilty of underplaying the key role they have in promoting biodiversity. For example, Federated Farmers was instrumental in the formation of both the QEII National Trust and the New Zealand Landcare Trust.

"A key thing about the New Zealand Farm Environment Award Trust is that it promotes sustainable but profitable farming.

"There seems a genuine misunderstanding outside the farm gate that the words ‘sustainability' and ‘profit' are mutually exclusive. Farm systems need to be sustainable to be economical while profit provides the means to improve the farm for the next generation."

For more information on the New Zealand Farm Environment Award Trust or the Ballance Farm Environment Awards, contact David Natzke, General Manager, New Zealand Farm Environment Award Trust, phone 07 834 0400, or email david.natzke@nzfeatrust.org.nz.