2008-11-12

Hot off the Press -Federated Farmers Media Release Federated Farmers in International Talks

12 NOVEMBER 2008

Federated Farmers in international talks

“New Zealand has to learn and absorb lessons from overseas if we are to unleash an agricultural wave here in New Zealand,” said Federated Farmers president, Don Nicolson, from Canberra this morning.

Mr Nicolson, along with Vice-President, Frank Brenmuhl and Chief Executive, Conor English, are meeting the Executive Committee of IFAP (International Federation of Agricultural Producers) in Canberra. IFAP represents over 600 million farm families grouped in 120 national organizations in 79 countries.

“The issues we are discussing at Federated Farmers are strikingly similar to the issues IFAP face. Trade access, water, climate change as well as animal identification and tracing are common concerns.

“There is huge interest in New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme as we are seen to be a guinea pig. Delegates have expressed incredulity that New Zealand, the world’s most efficient agricultural producer, is including farm animals when Kyoto doesn’t require it. Federated Farmers agrees,” Mr Nicolson said.

The Federation, in meeting with peer organisations, is learning about developments and practices in other nations. This includes the bitter experience of European farmers with expensive and ill-fated attempts to extend animal identification and tracing to all farm animals.

“As Kiwis we seem to suffer from the ‘going where angels fear to tread’ syndrome. Our peers look to New Zealand as the benchmark. They ask us ‘why on earth are you doing this to yourselves’ and we don’t know what to say in response,” Mr Nicolson concluded.

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