Save The Date! Food For Our Future

Press Release – Environmental Defence Society

5 & 6 August 2020
(pre-conference workshop on 4 August)
Grand Millennium Hotel, Auckland

New Zealand has an exceptional reputation internationally for the food it produces, exporting premium quality produce to meet the growing demands of offshore markets. Without question, the strength of our food exports remains a lynchpin of the New Zealand economy.

But the way we produce our food has come at a huge cost to the environment, and international markets are questioning the green credentials upon which New Zealand’s reputation relies. Over two-thirds of our rivers are unswimmable due to pollution and three-quarters of our native freshwater fish species are threatened with extinction. Excessive sedimentation is degrading sensitive natural habitats across freshwater, estuarine and coastal ecosystems. The decline in insects, including pollinators, is alarming. The health and loss of our soils – a grower’s most precious asset – need urgent attention. And harvesting pressures on our marine resources are troubling. 
In short, current production systems and practices are failing our environment and are unsustainable.
Food for our Future will explore how current food production systems and practices in New Zealand are regulated and managed, including through emerging policy settings promulgated this year. We will hear from Māori about their insights on how to produce food with respect for, and in harmony with, nature. And we will learn about innovative local and international production models across all food groups that could secure New Zealand’s position as a premium food producer whilst restoring the environment and enabling it to flourish. The state of our environment, on both land and sea, demonstrates that change is essential and urgent. So is it possible? And how should councils and key stakeholders be responding?
Join us for a thought-provoking 2 days to find out.

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