Dr Tim Mackle: Dairy committed to lowering environmental impactSave
Commenting on today's OECD Environmental Performance Review announcement, DairyNZ's chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says the dairy sector is committed to lowering its environmental impact, while protecting the valuable contribution dairying makes to the economy.
Dairy farming is a major driver in the New Zealand economy improving everyone's lifestyle in this country. This is both directly and indirectly, and in rural and urban communities.
New Zealand's agricultural output of greenhouse gas is accentuated because we have a relatively small population, and we are not heavily industrialised.
In other countries where there are larger populations the greater contribution is from the transport, manufacturing, construction, and the energy sectors.
Our agricultural sector is a very efficient producer of high-quality food - food that feeds many millions, not only in our country, but also around the world.
We're the most efficient producer of milk on a greenhouse gas per unit of milk basis.
This is because our animals are largely grass fed, unlike animals in many other agricultural countries which are fed grains and other supplements that must be harvested and transported - and their animals are often housed in barns, sometimes year around, not just over the harsh winter months.
Modern, science-based farming is the solution to finding systems that have a lower environmental imprint.
DairyNZ is working closely with the Ministry for the Environment, Ministry for Primary Industries, AgResearch and dairy companies on a holistic, integrated approach to address climate change, the protection of waterways and animal welfare.