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Federated Farmers National Conference 2015

Press Release – Federated Farmers

King Salmon CEO Grant Rosewarne told Federated Farmers National Conference this afternoon that being efficient with practice and popular with wider society did not guarantee social license to operate.2 July 2015
Federated Farmers National Conference 2015

King Salmon CEO Grant Rosewarne told Federated Farmers National Conference this afternoon that being efficient with practice and popular with wider society did not guarantee social license to operate.

“You have to rely on building relationships rather than facts. Farmers are perhaps not as well understood as before with society becoming more urbanised,” he said.

To sustain resilience, international and domestic certification was an aspect which had worked for his organisation. Being open and transparet was a way to silence the vocal minority. Those who opposed were generally misinformed and ignorant.

Peter Douglas, CEO Te Ohu Kaimoana, predicted that Maori hold the key to the primary sector’s future resilience.

Mr Douglas said Maori were younger, energetic and achieving better grades while staying healthier than previous generations. Above all, in the last 40 years, the Maori population had doubled and a future agricultural workforce would be reliant on this demographic.

Westpac Chief Economist Dominick Stephens told the Wellington conference that New Zealand must be open to foreign ownership to remain resilient.

“If we don’t stay open, it will reduce our ability to be resilient during economic downturns and [natural] disasters,” he said.

This would have a negative effect on any economic recovery and make for a bigger “fire sale” as our assets would be worth less.

Stephen Jacobi, The New Zealand International Business Network, said it was time for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Community (EU). Such an agreement would provide “new dynamic opportunities” for both regions.

“It’s all about diversifying risk , access to markets and rules to engagement, this underpins how our agri-markets operate,” he said.

Much had changed since the World Trade Organisation (WTO) was created almost 30 years ago, with New Zealand and Australia both recognised by the EU as significant strategic partners as global food demand increased.

There was around 500 million consumers in Europe with great potential for the New Zealand primary sector. Europe was our largest export partner and third largest import and investment partner.

New Zealand farmers ability to prosper was “inextricably linked to international markets” and trade agreements fostered resilence through prices, transparency and security, he said.

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