Pastoral Agriculture Is NZ's Selling Point

NEW ZEALAND - Fonterra Cooperative Group Chairman, Sir Henry van der Heyden, has agreed with Federated Farmers that agriculture is New Zealand’s unique competitive advantage
calendar icon 23 June 2010
clock icon 2 minute read

“Sir Henry talked about New Zealand’s future and said this lies in backing our competitive advantage, which is pastoral agriculture,” says Lachlan McKenzie, Federated Farmers Dairy Chairperson.

“He said one of the reasons why Fonterra is so strong, is because New Zealand lies in agriculture’s sweet spot. It’s down to our combination of lush pasture, soils and our plentiful water. Federated Farmers is definitely in sync with that thinking.

“What’s important for us in the dairy industry right now is avoiding fragmentation. That’s a timely message given the capital structure review.

“Collegiality has been a hallmark of the dairy industry. In saying that, it’s also vital there is real competition for suppliers and for market share, but that mustn’t lead to the type of market practices that have brought related agricultural industries down.

“I genuinely think Fonterra is the forward pack of the New Zealand dairy industry. It provides the go forward from which innovation springs.

“Every player in the dairy industry has to ensure the industry works together to keep dairy competitive and responsive. That was the focus of Sir Henry’s speech, as well Fonterra’s leadership on environmental matters.

“Government has to think strategically about the way the dairy industry is regulated. Being the biggest export earner for New Zealand, we need constant refinement to ensure it’s enabling, as opposes to, retarding our development.

“While we dairy farmers do have the prospect of increased returns, this is matched by greater in-season volatility.

“Federated Farmers has a big role to play in leading these discussions, in line with our member’s interests,” Mr McKenzie concluded.

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