SUPPORTING OUR FARMERS AND RURAL COMMUNITIES
Groundswell NZ is a grassroots volunteer-driven advocacy group seeking a halt to, and rewriting of, unworkable regulations which unfairly impact farmers and rural communities. The group seeks effective solutions to environmental issues, and has been providing a strong advocacy voice for rural communities across NZ since 2020.
Agvance supports all of our clients who are directly affected by the current unfair legislation placed on our farming communities across New Zealand. We are committed to standing up with those in our communities against unworkable regulations, and thank those who were able to attend, stand up and speak at the recent protests.
As an agricultural based country, this poorly thought out piece of legislation and policies developed in silos won’t only affect every farmer, the repercussions will flow into every part of our society for many years to come.
We believe that these regulations, legislation and the unfair costs associated with it will ultimately impact the cost of living for every New Zealander at every level of our society. Having such specific legislation and policies introduced by those that do not work on the land every day and understand the nuances of our farms and communities across the country should not hold such power over our livelihoods.
At Agvance, we see two big issues with the current legislation. The belief that livestock ‘emit’ carbon, and that every farm is the same across the country.
Cows don’t emit carbon – they cycle it. Thanks to the process of photosynthesis, biogenic methane gas simply cycles between CO2 gas, plant biomass, enteric produced methane and CO2. And in relatively short order, it is all back to CO2 where it started. This process does not add any additional CO2 to the atmosphere whatsoever. The opposite is the case for fossil fuel derived methane and CO2. Derived from the likes of coal, oil and gas, fossil fuel emissions increase the atmospheric GHG concentrations and increase global warming.
New Zealand has the lowest carbon footprint for milk and meat production in the world. Passing laws which force NZ farmers to reduce their biogenic carbon emissions will have no effect on reducing the effects of global warming. In fact, forcing farmers to do this will result in the unnecessary culling of livestock, limiting one of our largest global exports – food. This will unlikely result in food shortages, but will mean that milk and meat is sourced from other countries in the world with a higher carbon intensity of food production, and less sustainable practices.
Seasons can vary greatly from one region to the next, and blanket legislation will not provide the effective solutions that they are hoping to devise. A farm that is based in Southland does not have the exact same climate and seasons as a farm based in Waikato. Forcing our rural communities to adopt rules and regulations that are not tailored to their region is laughable at best, and a destruction of livelihood at worst.
We firmly believe in the democratic society in which we live, which means that we can and should oppose the current legislation and instead seek effective and sensible solutions to environmental issues that do not cripple the farming industry in the process.
You can learn more about Groundswell and lend a hand in providing a strong advocacy voice for our farming communities by visiting their website here.
Written by Chris Balemi; Managing Director, Agvance Nutrition Limited.