Food and farming

These things are fundamental to who we are, what we do and how New Zealand makes its way in the world. But there are big problems with the way we’re farming. The industrial farming model prevalent in New Zealand is damaging our land, water, climate and farmers.

New Zealand farming made a name for itself based on two simple five-letter words – clean and green - with our products setting us apart in shopping trolleys and baskets across the globe. But somewhere along the way we lost our bearings.  

Family farms got snapped up and subsumed into industrial-scale dairying operations. We began clear-felling forests to make way for industrial dairy farms, piling fertilizers onto the land; squeezing too many cows onto every hectare, and feeding them supplementary feed from destroyed Indonesian rainforests. All this to sell faceless milk powder on volatile global commodity markets.

This industrial, high input model has cost our rivers (two thirds are already at times too polluted to swim in safely) our water (New Zealand now has the highest rates of waterborne gastro disease in the developed world), our climate (agriculture emissions make up half New Zealand’s emissions and continue to rise) and our farmers. New Zealand dairy farmers are collectively burdened with $38 billion worth of debt, putting unimaginable pressure on individuals, families and communities.

And things are set to get worse, with large-scale irrigation schemes planned across the country. People don’t necessarily make the link between irrigation and industrial farming. But the one leads directly to the other.  The reason big irrigation companies want to take water from our rivers is to enable more industrial agriculture (namely dairying) where it wouldn’t otherwise have occurred. Irrigation schemes are a golden ticket to more dairying and more water pollution.
 
The industrial dairying model is a failed experiment. Change is needed if New Zealand farming and farmers are to prosper again. We need to make New Zealand farming something we can be proud of again.

The latest updates

 

“It's about the people, not about the products” - the faces of PFC pollution

Blog entry by Elske Krikhaar and Jeffrey Dugas | November 21, 2016

Elske Krikhaar, Greenpeace International The first thing that went through my mind as I entered Jan and Ineke van Genderen’s living room was how close the DuPont/Chemours facility was. I could almost see it from the window. It is...

With or without nukes - war is no game

Blog entry by Russel Norman | November 16, 2016

There are at least two undeniable existential threats to human civilisation - climate change and nuclear weapons. In the context of the first US military ship visit to NZ waters in 33 years happening right now, I want to reflect on...

Kaikoura Earthquake: How to help or get help

Blog entry by Nick Young | November 16, 2016

Wanting to lend a hand, or provide some type of assistance after NZ was shaken just after midnight on Monday?  Here are some ways you can help or get help. HOTLINES TO CALL The organisation  All Right?  works to support...

Smog is India's new Instagram filter

Blog entry by Sudhanshu Malhotra | November 14, 2016

India’s capital, Delhi, is right now the most polluted city in the world . According to a WHO report, 12 out of 22 of the world’s most polluted cities are in India. It’s a public health disaster, but it wasn’t always like this. ...

One year later and no justice: Communities affected by dam disaster speak out

Blog entry by Fabiana Alves | November 10, 2016

This past Saturday – 5 November, 2016 – hundreds of people gathered at the ruins of the Bento Rodrigues school in Mariana, Minas Gerais state, Brazil. They were there out of remembrance, and to call for justice. Exactly one year...

I survived the strongest typhoon to ever hit the Philippines. But my family didn’t.

Blog entry by Joanna Sustento | November 10, 2016

Imagine this… “Super Typhoon Haiyan is moving over the Philippines this weekend bringing with it winds close to 200 miles per hour…” – ABC World News An elderly couple walk past rubble left by the damage caused by Typhoon...

4 ways you can use the law to call out the fossil fuel industry – join the wave of...

Blog entry by Nick Young | November 9, 2016

The Paris agreement has catapulted us all into a new reality. Governments have signed it, now they must act on it. And meanwhile, a global movement of people against fossil fuels is moving ahead - and you can be a part of it. We are...

I was at eye level at the UN and the world moved

Blog entry by Naomi Ages | November 6, 2016

It’s early in the morning on Friday 4 November and I am standing outside the United Nations in New York. A year ago, I was a relative newcomer to Greenpeace, preparing to attend the COP in Paris. The Greenpeace team was mobilising to...

Samsung, it's time to walk the talk

Blog entry by Jude Lee | November 6, 2016

Samsung is at a cross-roads. In the aftermath of the Galaxy Note7 fiasco the tech giant has admitted they need a fresh start. However, this doesn't just have to be a fresh start to advertise a new Galaxy S8, it could also represent a...

The inevitable transformation - why swift action is needed to stay below 1.5

Blog entry by Jennifer Morgan | November 4, 2016

Last year, 197 countries adopted the historic Paris Agreement on climate change. Today (November 4th) it comes into force, in one of the fastest ratifications of any international agreement. In 2015 at COP21 in Paris,...

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