24 Nov 2009

Call for 'Green Table' to represent NZ agriculture

7:03 pm on 24 November 2009

A Wairarapa farmer and agricultural commentator has called for the formation of a Green Table organisation to give New Zealand agriculture a single voice.

Alan Emerson, along with Massey University's director of agriculture, Professor Jacqueline Rowarth, is co-editor of a new book launched this week called Future Food Farming: New Zealand Incorporated Meeting Tomorrow's Markets.

Mr Emerson says agriculture in this country has a huge future, but it lacks the unified voice it needs to get that message through.

"We've got to get away from fragmented representation - we've got a whole pile of groups that represent different parts of farming - and set up a Green Table with one properly resourced unit like Business New Zealand does," he says.

Mr Emerson envisages organisations like Federated Farmers, Rural Women and Meat & Wool New Zealand belonging to such a body, adding, "It's that single voice I see as being vital for agriculture to move forward."

He says a Green Table could tackle issues such as the requirement of Crown research Institutes to return 9% of their equity to the Government.