Food and farming - the solution

Page - October 4, 2016
Greenpeace is not and never has been “anti-farming”. In fact we see working with the land to produce food to feed people as one of the best professions around. But we can’t keep farming the way we are if we want the best for our water, land, climate and farmers.

We’re advocating a win-win way forward. It's called ecological farming. If “eco-farming” sounds too complicated, try “better”, “sustainable” or “smarter”.

Eco-farming combines modern science and innovation with respect for nature and biodiversity. It protects the soil, water and climate. It ensures healthy farming and healthy food.

Eco-farming works with, rather than against, natural ecosystems - protecting and using them to improve soil and water health, control weeds, pests and diseases and create resilience.

This is the ticket to healthy livestock, healthy crops, and healthy bottom lines.

In 2017, we travelled the country to meet with farmers who are already using regenerative farming techniques to restore health back to their land. They’re diversifying pastures and farm systems, building healthy soil, reducing costly and environmentally damaging inputs like chemical fertiliser and reducing their cow numbers - and are seeing the benefits already.

Studies prove that eco farming works. Here in New Zealand an AgResearch report found that a low-input system with less cows per hectare and no chemical nitrogen fertilizer produced the most milk per cow per year. The study also confirmed that the low input system is the best environmental performer, the least financially risky and is most profitable when milk-price payouts are low.

Many New Zealand farmers are already switched on to this, rejecting high input intensive dairying and running profitable, low-input, environmentally-sound farms.

In addition to this, we’ve launched a Freshwater Rescue Plan in conjunction with several other organisations - including Forest & Bird, the Public Health Association and Fish and Game - giving the government seven steps to save New Zealand’s precious waterways. You can read the seven step plan here.

It’s not just about dairying though.

Through ecological farming New Zealand could be producing clean, green, high-value food products across the board. This is what the world’s consumers are increasingly demanding - food with integrity.

The work we’re doing on farming here in New Zealand is part of a revolutionary global campaign to clean up food and farming systems around the world. To read more about Greenpeace’s Food for Life work, click here.