19 December 2008
Ballance has today responded to questions about its key sponsorship – the Ballance Farm Environment Awards.
‘We sponsor the awards because we believe in what they are trying to achieve,’ said Ballance Chief Executive Larry Bilodeau.
The Ballance Farm Environment Awards are a nationwide showcase event for the rural sector, providing a vehicle for farmers to demonstrate that they are good stewards of the environment
These awards enable farmers to show how an environmentally sensitive approach can be part of a profitable farm business and can inspire and motivate others by example.
‘For us, the key to the Ballance Farm Environment Awards is the impact it has had in promoting farming sustainability. We get to see New Zealand ingenuity at its best, where many solutions are found through innovation and commitment.
‘The awards fit closely with Ballance’s core values, and we are extremely proud to continue sponsorship of these.’
‘It is unusual to receive criticism of our involvement because everyone involved can see the logic behind using fertilisers wisely. Alongside other initiatives, such as the Clean Streams Accord, it is contributing a lot to making New Zealand farming more sustainable without jeopardising production.’
He said that agriculture is the mainstay of New Zealand’s economy, and there’s no denying that fertiliser has an indispensible role to play in the success of the industry.
‘We’re not trying to sweep any environmental issues surrounding fertiliser use under the carpet. By putting our name to the Farm Environment Awards, we are fronting up and demonstrating our commitment to making a change. Through the BFEA and other Ballance initiatives, we are actively working with the farming community to ensure our products are used appropriately.
‘The regional councils support us in this because it is their mandate to protect their local environment. Just talk to farmers who have been part of the awards process and they will tell you how much an impetus it has been in helping them make their farming more sustainable.’
Ballance is proactively working to minimise the environmental risks associated with fertiliser use and to educate farmers about these risks. This is achieved in part through the development of nutrient management plans, which define the nutrient needs of agricultural systems as well as amounts, sources, placement and timing of nutrient applications to maximise nutrient uptake and minimise losses. If implemented correctly, these plans can result in an increase in production and profitability while at the same time protecting the environment
Larry Bilodeau, Chief Executive
Phone: 07 572 7839