Home' Otago Southland Farmer : October 19th 2012 Contents 6
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Investing in innovation
Future prosperity lies in bolstering primary industry
There is a wealth of opportunity for
New Zealand's farmers and
growers. We are rich in natural
resources and we sit on the
doorstep of the world's fastest
Anew school opened its
doors in New Zealand
this month -- not just
any school, but the
cooking school with
the famous French name and long
English connection, Le Cordon
It's great news for our hospitality
industry that the school which
first opened in Paris in 1895 has
chosen Wellington for a new
home, and will eventually be
training up to 300 budding
What I was particularly pleased to
hear was the comment made by
the president of Le Cordon Bleu
International Andre Cointreau
that New Zealand's strong
reputation for food and wine
made it ''a perfect fit'' for the
He went on to say, ''It's a rather
''Where is another country who
has so much agriculture, food and
This is a great vote of confidence
for New Zealand producers.
The people and businesses that
make up our primary industries,
from producers through to
processors and exporters, are
among the best the world.
Even in the face of a
tough global economy
and high exchange rates,
the outlook is good, with
There is a
farmers and growers.
We are rich in natural resources
and we sit on the doorstep of the
world's fastest growing region.
Growing our economy depends on
the primary sector.
After all, the agri-food sector
accounts for more than $24 billion
of exports, about two-thirds of our
total merchandise export
earnings. But to succeed further,
we need to increase production
and increase the value of what we
We need to be even more
innovative, build on our strengths
and continue to earn our
reputation for safe, high-quality
After all, this is the
drawcard that's attracted
to our shores.
sector to lift our export earnings
through more value-added
products, developed through
To get higher economic growth
and greater prosperity, New
Zealand as a whole has to keep
investing more in innovation --
it's as simple as that.
This is why I'm such a staunch
champion of the Primary Growth
Partnership which has now
pledged around $600 million
towards cutting-edge primary
sector research and innovation.
This is the most ambitious R&D
programme of its type ever seen
in New Zealand, and I'm very
proud of the commitment shown
by industry to work with the
Government to lift primary
production to a new level.
In three years, PGP has been an
outstanding success -- attracting
proposals across a broad
spectrum, from dairy, red meat
and wool to seafood, manuka
honey and forestry.
And I know there are plenty more
ideas in the pipeline.
As I have said many times, every
New Zealander stands to benefit
from innovative investment in
the primary sector because our
food, fishing, fibre and forestry
industries are the key to our
David Carter, Minister for
Farm safety statistics have
revealed a slight decrease in on-
farm injury claims for 2011, but
Federated Farmers remains con-
cerned that farmers are still
taking too many risks and
endangering their health, lives
Statistics New Zealand's work-
related injury ACC claim stat-
istics show claims over the past
three years decreased from 250
per 1000 fulltime equivalent
workers (FTEs) in 2009 to 211 last
However, Federated Farmers
health and safety spokesperson
Jeanette Maxwell said 28,100
claims in the 2011 year was far too
''It is vital for everyone in New
Zealand's primary sector to
realise that the old 'she'll be right,
it won't happen to me' attitude is
letting us down, not only costing
our farmers billions of dollars in
lost productivity annually, but
also placing a huge emotional
strain on many rural families,''
Ms Maxwell said.
The Federation has developed an
agriculture specific Occupational
Safety and Health manual to
cover farming situations.
This is available to all farmers to
buy, with a discount for Federated
Farmers members by calling 0800
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