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Source: Horticulture New Zealand

Horticulture New Zealand has welcomed government support for Farm Environment Plans, saying the horticulture industry is already well on the way to implementing Farm Environment Plans across the country.
‘The horticulture industry sees Farm Environment Plans as powerful tools for reducing environmental impact and providing evidence to meet regulatory requirements, while maintaining if not enhancing yields and returns,’ says HortNZ Chief Executive, Mike Chapman.
‘HortNZ has been trialling Farm Environment Plans with vegetable growers in Levin and Pukekohe – two of New Zealand’s major vegetable growing areas – to good effect. In order to encourage uptake, we have also translated the steps to meet Farm Environment Plan requirements into Traditional Chinese.
‘Growers in Levin and Pukekohe have appreciated the greater knowledge that Farm Environment Plans provide them about their land and key inputs such as fertiliser.
‘They also say that through the Farm Environment Plan process, they have been able to take a step back and start challenging thinking, and figuring out if more modern practices can make things better, both for the environment and their growing businesses.’
More than 10,000 hectares of land used for vegetable and fruit growing is already being managed using Farm Environment Plans.
HortNZ will continue to roll out Farm Environment Plans to growers throughout the country. HortNZ is also looking forward to working through the conditions for accessing this support with government.
The horticulture is now worth more than $6 billion a year and employs more than 60,000 people.