19 September 2022, NZ: The National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land will provide protection for the country’s best land and soil so it can be used to produce food.
‘Covid has taught us that we can’t take for granted that there’ll always be New Zealand grown vegetables and fruit on our retailers’ shelves,’ says HortNZ Chief Executive, Nadine Tunley.
‘HortNZ has advocated for nearly a decade for government policy that recognises the importance of our best soils, and ensures that they are prioritised for what they are best for – producing healthy vegetables and fruit.
‘All along, we have said that with good planning, New Zealand can have fresh vegetables and fruit, and houses.’
Nadine says HortNZ will continue its advocacy to ensure that growers can sustainably and profitably use highly productive land.
‘Our fight will go on. It’s no use protecting our best land if growers cannot get access to inputs like freshwater, are bogged down with compliance, and can’t afford fertiliser or to transport their produce.
‘At the same time, growers need to know they have a skilful and reliable workforce available to plant, pick and pack. We also need to ensure that growers can afford to invest in new growing methods, in response to climate change.
‘Growers only need ongoing issues in one of these areas for their viability to be compromised, which could mean vegetables and fruit cannot be sustainably grown in New Zealand in the future.’
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