This week I catch up with Grant Bunting, General Manager of Systems & Supply at ANZCO, and more importantly in this context, he is also the Chair of the Processor Working Group that is supporting farmers through change via the He Waka Eke Noa Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership.
By the end of 2022 all New Zealand farmers will need to know the greenhouse gas footprint for their farms. Measuring emissions will enable farmers to demonstrate the sector is working towards further improvements, and a sustainable future as well as meeting the country’s emission reduction targets.
The industry needs to meet the following targets:
- By end of 2021 25% of NZ farmers know their annual total on-farm greenhouse gas emissions and have a written plan in place to measure and manage their emissions .
- By the end of 2022 100% of NZ farmers know their annual total on-farm emissions.
- By 1 January 2025 all farmers need to have a plan to monitor and manage their emissions.
If these goals are not achieved the Government can pull the sector into the Emissions Trading Scheme and make farmers’ emissions accountable at the processor level. A processor working group has been established to get collaborative action from meat processors on achieving these goals.
By the end of 2022 all New Zealand farmers running 80 ha or more will need to know their farm’s greenhouse gas emissions, know-your-number and have a plan. Measuring emissions will enable farmers and indeed industry to demonstrate they are working towards a sustainable future as well as meeting the country’s emission reduction targets. Measurement is key, once farmers understand their number they will be in a position to decide how they are going to monitor and manage their emissions.
Grant Buntin says the meat companies support this process because they believe farmers are best placed to measure and manage their emissions rather than having a blanket tax at the processor level through the ETS; in addition it rewards farmers who are already proactively managing their emissions.
The sector is working to create a framework to reduce agricultural emissions and build the agriculture sector’s resilience to climate change. The wider sector is committed and is working with farmers to help them measure, monitor and manage on-farm emissions; recognise, maintain or increase integrated sequestration on farms and adapt to a changing climate.
The alternative to achieving these goals is pricing greenhouse emissions at the processor level through the emissions trading scheme. This is a scary prospect and one farmers will want to avoid at all costs, The ETS will not reflect work on farm or reward better farmers for the good work they are doing. It will simply be a blanket tax paid by all.
Consumers around the world want food producers to be as efficient as possible with the smallest footprint, and this desire will only continue to increase. New Zealand farmers and growers are known as world leaders and producers of premium products and they can lead the way globally in managing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.
Listen to the podcast to get the full story because it has considerable helpful detail and perspectives.
Angus Kebbell is the Producer at Tailwind Media. You can contact him here.