Minister talks food security at Green Week

Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor travels to Europe today to speak at the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture, held during International Green Week in Berlin. 

The forum’s theme is “shaping the future of livestock – sustainably, responsibly, efficiently”. 

New Zealand’s leading role in the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases was a large factor in the invitation to take part in the forum. 

“The global challenge is to produce more food with less emissions intensity – this requires research and innovation and is key to meeting the projected increase in worldwide food demand of 70 per cent by 2050,” says Mr O’Connor. 

At the forum, Mr O’Connor will highlight New Zealand’s leadership credentials in sustainable livestock production and build relationships with other agriculture ministers from around the world, including through bilateral meetings with counterparts from Argentina, Brazil, the European Commission, France, Germany, Lithuania, Mexico and Poland. 

While there he will also engage with key European and New Zealand stakeholders with interests in the launch of EU-NZ free trade agreement negotiations, and Brexit. 

“Rural communities across the world are often the life-blood of our societies and heritage. New Zealand is confident that an FTA between our country and the EU will provide opportunities for farmers in both Europe and New Zealand and facilitate greater agricultural cooperation, benefiting rural communities on both sides.” 

He will also travel to Ireland, Denmark and Spain to meet his counterparts and discuss mutual issues affecting agricultural production and trade. 

“Speaking of international influences on our primary sector, it’s good to see an uplift in dairy prices in the latest GDT overnight. Farmers will welcome this, especially those doing it particularly tough in our regions in drought.”