Federated Farmers' president Bruce Wills says he struggled to get free trade policy onto the agenda of the World Farmers' Organisation's general assembly he attended in Italy earlier this month.
WFO members aim to bring farmers across the globe together to develop policies on common issues such as climate change, food security and trade.
Mr Wills says he succeeded in getting free trade onto the agenda with support of delegates from Australia and South Africa.
He says most member countries are still focussed on issues that New Zealand resolved years ago.
But Mr Wills says it's crucial that New Zealand remains in the WFO, though Russia and China are noticeably absent from the organisation.