Dom Post: ‘Greenwash’ threat to NZ trade

Jon Morgan writes in the Dominion Post about an agricultural/horticultural convention at which the risks to New Zealand’s lowering of trade barriers from international “greenwash” efforts were discussed.

Farmers, particularly in the US and Europe, are being given “greenwash” subsidies, undermining New Zealand’s ability to be competitive.  However, the conference also covered ways for New Zealand to challenge some of the threats.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“The “fishhooks” New Zealand had to be ready for were:

“Local food. The British Government was putting in policies to promote local food, and mentioning food miles as one reason. “I am not against farmers markets, anything that connects farmers with their communities has got to be good. But you can’t tell me getting in your four-wheel-drive in London and driving 50 miles up the road to a farmers market to buy a couple of lettuces and a jar of honey is good for the environment.” New Zealand had to act smarter and market itself as local. “Let the shopper feel the connection back to the farmer. I can see the day when we click our cellphones onto a barcode and up comes a picture of the farmer who produced it,” Professor Saunders said.

“Animal welfare. Marks & Spencer said it would not sell meat or milk from animals that were kept indoors all year round. “In New Zealand, that should be something we’re levering on.””