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

 

18th anniversary of the world's worst chemical disaster

Image | December 3, 2002 at 0:00

On the 18th anniversary of the world's worst chemical disaster, Greenpeace New Zealand joined groups in India and worldwide demanding that Dow takes responsibility for its toxic legacy in Bhopal, India. Greenpeace NZ protested outside the DOW...

Auckland International Airport Ltd. AGM Resolution

Publication | October 11, 2002 at 0:00

Greenpeace's resolution to the AIAL AGM: Resolution: That the company (AIAL) commit to cease incineration of all quarantine waste within 12 months and change to steam sterilisation.

Incineration solutions report

Publication | October 1, 2002 at 0:00

Options for quarantine waste treatment at Auckland International Airport

Greenpeace activists shut down Auckland Airport incinerator

Image | September 17, 2002 at 1:00

Greenpeace activists shut down the Auckland Airport incinerator.

Fossil fuels and climate change: The carbon logic

Publication | September 6, 2002 at 0:00

The Carbon Logic Report shows the implications for fossil fuel use in the form of a 'carbon budget' over the next century if the global commuity is to prevent dangerous climate change. It is demonstrated that it is only possible to burn a small...

Winds of change report

Publication | July 2, 2002 at 0:00

A report exploring New Zealand's phenomenal wind resource and options to drive renewable energy development.

Partners in Crime

Publication | March 1, 2002 at 0:00

"Partners in Crime" profiles the scandalous Kiunga-Aiambak Road Project as one example of what is going wrong in Papua New Guinea’s forests.

Greenpeace and Sawmill Workers Against Poisons (SWAP)

Image | October 23, 2001 at 1:00

Greenpeace and Sawmill Workers Against Poisons (SWAP) placed signs on all confirmed and suspected dioxin contaminated sites around Whakatane.

Pro GE Free New Zealand march up Queen Street

Image | September 1, 2001 at 1:00

Pro GE Free New Zealand march up Queen Street, Auckland.

Incineration and human health report

Publication | March 1, 2001 at 0:00

State of knowledge of the impacts of waste incinerators. Greenpeace International Research Laboratories, University of Exeter, UK.

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