Minister talks sustainable agriculture on world stage

Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor is on his way to Europe to represent New Zealand on the international sustainable agriculture and climate change stage. 

“By dealing with the challenges of climate change, Kiwi farmers understand there is an opportunity to get greater value for what they produce,” Damien O’Connor said.

 “Last week the Government celebrated a decade of work by the Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change Research Programme, where $50 million for 150 projects has helped our primary sectors understand and adapt to climate change.

 “This valuable work ensures our agriculture can remain profitable and sustainable into the future – knowledge coveted by countries around the world – and we value our relationships with like-minded agribusiness countries.”  

Mr O’Connor will speak at the international conference on agricultural greenhouse gases and food security in Berlin, co-sponsored by the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, which New Zealand led the establishment of in 2009. 

As the first New Zealand Minister to visit Italy since the formation of its new government in April, Mr O’Connor will meet with counterparts. Italy is a valuable friend and trading partner. In Rome he will also meet with the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization.

 In Paris Mr O’Connor will host a reception to support New Zealand’s candidate for Director-General of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine, Dr John Barker. In London he will meet with UK officials and industry representatives to discuss the development of the UK’s agricultural policy. 

Mr O’Connor will also meet with key European stakeholders on EU-New Zealand free trade agreement negotiations. He travels from 10-16 September.