12 Dec 2019
For Primary Sector Council
The Primary Sector Council has today released Fit for a Better World, its bold new vision for New Zealand’s agriculture, food and fibres sector.
The vision was launched in Christchurch today (12 December) by Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor.
The Primary Sector Council’s vision for New Zealand’s agriculture, food and fibres sector is to be a world-leader in modern regenerative production systems that are Fit for a Better World.
Primary Sector Council Chair Lain Jager says Fit for A Better World is about providing the world’s most discerning consumers with outstanding, ethically produced food, natural fibres, drinks, co-products and bio-products.
“Fit for a Better World recognises the importance of reflecting care for our natural resources and our people in everything we eat, drink and wear. As global environmental pressures continue to mount, this is about us standing for a sustainable future in a way that both speaks to and honours both our global consumers and our children,” says Mr Jager.
“By continuing our journey from volume to value we can both increase the economic value of the agriculture, food and fibre sector and reduce impacts on the environment. Sustainable production represents our best and most prosperous future.”
The Primary Sector Council is developing its final report with its recommendations, expected in March 2020. A new government-industry partnership – Food and Fibres Aotearoa New Zealand – will bring the vision to life.
The Primary Sector Council will be providing regular updates on its work, and is inviting public feedback and input through its social media pages.
“Many New Zealand food and fibres producers across the sector are already well on the pathway to producing ethical and sustainable products that recognise sustainable practices as fundamental in our global positioning,” says Mr Jager.
“Fit for a Better World is a shared vision for all agriculture, food and fibres sector organisations to engage in. It provides the foundations and a framework for future producers, innovators and sustainable businesses to grow from.
“Given the importance of the agriculture, food and fibres sector to New Zealand, and all who work in it, we undertook significant consultation to ensure we developed a single compelling vision that reflected the broad, diverse nature of the sector.
“Through this consultation with organisations across the breadth of the sector, themes including sustainability, grower-to-plate storytelling, pasture-fed protein, excellence in water management and consumer expectations and desires continue to play a crucial part in the success of the sector.
“While there is real frustration that we are not recognised for the good work already underway, we discovered a real willingness within the sector to embrace the idea of a single vision.”
A key part of Fit for a Better World is the Māori concept of Taiao, putting the health of the climate, land, water and living systems first. It provides a uniquely New Zealand way to shape the future. Importantly, while the language may be new, the idea of producing food and fibres in balance with nature is absolutely understood and embraced by the sector. We see practical examples of this reflected in, for example, catchment and farm level environmental plans. The sector is already well on the way but we know we still have much to do.
“When we developed Fit for a Better World, our engagement with farmers, growers and others brought home the greatest challenges we face: moving to a low carbon emissions society, restoring the health of our water, reversing the decline in biodiversity and, at the same time, feeding and caring for our people and delivering a prosperous future,” says Mr Jagar.
“Consumers are increasingly wanting more ethical and sustainable products, and the concept of Taiao gives us a solid foundation and an opportunity to produce outstanding products.
“What’s clear to the Primary Sector Council is enriching New Zealand’s future needs commitment and a highly sophisticated approach at every level – from government policy and environmental performance through production systems to sales and marketing platforms and brand building.
“Food and Fibres Aotearoa New Zealand and Fit for a Better World will help ensure New Zealand has a focused and thriving agriculture, food and fibres sector for many generations to come, that will help to reinvigorate our rural communities and continue to support the well-being of all New Zealanders.
“Through Fit for a Better World we now have a way to wrap our ‘New Zealandness’ around every food and fibre product we produce.
“The release of our vision today is the start of a journey that we believe all New Zealanders can be part of.”
For more information about the Primary Sector Council’s vision, visit fitforabetterworld.org.nz
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