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

 

The beauty of West Africa’s ocean is overwhelming

Blog entry by Pavel Klinckhamers | May 10, 2017

Sailing across the nutrient rich waters of the West African Atlantic Ocean these past two months, I have been lucky enough to see an incredible array of wildlife. Whales, dolphins and pelicans, I have met them all in this trip. And I...

6 ways corporate lawsuits kill free speech (and how to fight back!)

Blog entry by Molly Dorozenski | May 9, 2017

Free speech is a right. So how can a corporation possibly stop you from speaking out? Using a legal tactic called a SLAPP , corporations like the massive Canadian logging company, Resolute Forest Products, are attempting to crack down...

Shopping doesn’t make us happy

Blog entry by Frances Lo | May 8, 2017

Do your clothes make you happy? Or, after the excitement of the shopping spree fades, does your new stuff tend to lose its in-store magic by the time it’s reached your wardrobe?   A new survey of international buying habits has...

Nuclear power and the collapse of society

Blog entry by Rex Weyler | May 5, 2017

On March 1 1954, on Bikini Atoll, in the Marshall Islands, the US military detonated the world’s first lithium-deuteride hydrogen bomb, a thousand times more powerful than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs. The radiation blew downwind,...

Saving Dvinsky Forest: If companies don't act, customers will

Blog entry by Alexey Yaroshenko | May 5, 2017

Speaking truth to corporations has been the backbone of Greenpeace’s global forest campaign for over two decades. Putting pressure on companies buying products from forest destruction has successfully helped protect the Great Bear...

A World Without Greenpeace? How One Corporation Is Attacking Your Right to Speak for...

Blog entry by Molly Dorozenski | May 5, 2017

Your right to speak out is being threatened right now in a dizzying variety of ways, not only by oppressive governments around the world, but also by underhanded corporations who want to suppress speech through expensive lawsuits. ...

Major palm oil company promises to protect forests

Blog entry by Annisa Rahmawati | April 28, 2017

There's been a major development in our campaign to protect Indonesia's forests. IOI, one of the largest palm oil traders in the world, has just made a significant commitment to protect rainforests . If put into practice, this...

Hungary and the freedom I stand for

Blog entry by Katalin Rodics | April 9, 2017

In the winter of 2017, I received a call from a colleague about a small community in the Hungarian countryside, far from the busy streets of Budapest, that needed help. A Lutheran organisation had just launched a project with disabled...

Taitu and a long history of protest in boats

Blog entry by Nick Young | April 3, 2017

After confronting Statoil and Chevron seismic blasting 50 nautical miles off the Wairarapa coast in small inflatable boats, we put out a call to New Zealanders to help us buy a bigger boat. The response was phenomenal. Within seven...

Cut the cows - a double whammy for the environment

Blog entry by pvine | March 27, 2017

It’s often said that domestic opinion doesn’t count for much in this country. Watch though, as heads turn and lattes spill when that same opinion comes from across the water. It’s our endearing lack of self confidence and charming...

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