20 February, 2013
New dairy accord shows farmers taking leadership on environmental issues
Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has welcomed a new accord from the dairy industry, aimed at lifting environmental performance on dairy farms.
“This is a real step forward and shows the dairy industry is serious about improving its practices.
“The draft ‘Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord’ is more comprehensive than the Clean Streams Accord which it will replace, as it will cover all dairy farmers, not just Fonterra suppliers.
“The Accord aims to have 100% exclusion of dairy cattle from significant waterways by 2017, for farms to manage nitrogen levels, and has strict conditions for new dairy farm conversions.
“Annual reporting against progress and independent auditing will give this Accord more transparency and accountability.
“It’s very pleasing to see the dairy industry taking leadership on this important issue. Farmers who neglect their responsibilities give the industry a bad name and will need to lift their game.
“The previous Clean Streams Accord has seen good results in some areas over the last 10 years, but this new approach is a real step forward,” says Mr Guy.
Other stakeholders such as local government, iwi and environmental groups have been involved in developing this plan.
The Accord will now be taken to farmers for consultation, and formally launched in time for the 2013/14 season. The Ministry for Primary Industries will sign as a “Friend of the Accord”.