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Industry Leaders Meet on Farmer Compliance Issues

10 November 2009

NEW ZEALAND - The dairy industry and Environment Bay of Plenty said they’re committed to working together to solve the Rotorua farmers’ effluent non-compliance issues.

DairyNZ, Federated Farmers, Environment Bay of Plenty, Fonterra and AgResearch met today and in a joint statement all parties agreed that the meeting had been a good forum and had identified some clear directions for all concerned. All parties agreed that any serious non-compliance issues on farms must be urgently addressed.

The parties agreed to collectively work to find solutions in key areas that they identified. These areas included certainty of investment, effluent storage and irrigation, soil conditions and looking at new research, which may better inform decision-making.

All parties have agreed to tackle the issues and meet again before Christmas to address progress and the next steps. Additionally, sub-groups were set up to accelerate solutions and discussions on some key areas and it is expected that they will report back to the December meeting

Following the meeting, Environment Bay of Plenty Group Manager Water Management Eddie Grogan said the meeting was very successful and thanked DairyNZ and Federated Farmers for their productive approach.

“We have made some very good progress today that we think will help us with longer term solutions to effluent management for Rotorua dairy farmers and potentially those throughout the region,” Mr Grogan said.

“We are very pleased that this working group has been established and really opens some clear communication lines and also an opportunity for us to work closely with farmers to educate them on appropriate management of effluent. We want to work towards and have farmers’ achieve 100 percent compliance at all times.”

Federated Farmers Rotorua/Taupo Provincial President, Neil Heather, said today’s meeting was a positive step forward in working collaboratively.

“We want all of our farmers to be compliant and this meeting has identified a way forward for us to work positively with Council. We want our members to be the first cab off the rank in achieving full compliance. Being able to discuss the issues that we have in an open forum is a positive step,” Mr Heather said.

Dairy NZ Regional Policy Manager, Penny Nelson, said, “It’s great to see a genuine will to solve the problem from all parties.

“The fact that the dairy industry and farmers are committed to finding a solution which meets the needs of all those involved was reflected in today’s meeting.

“It’s very good to know that farmers are going to get the clarity they need about the regional council’s requirements, which will better enable them to meet those requirements.”

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