The 2020 NZ Share Farmer of the Year Nick Bertram has been stripped of his title.
Bertram – alongside his wife Rosemarie – was awarded the title on Saturday July 4. By Thursday July 9, SAFE had sent to media outlets Bertram’s history of unsavoury social media comments, including calling cows “bitches” and talking about the cruel methods he uses towards his cows.
Despite apologising on Thursday, Bertram’s title was stripped the following day.
SAFE has applauded the decision – albeit with some caveats.
"The NZDIA has done the right thing, and we’re glad to see Bertram has been held to account over his actions,” SAFE chief executive Debra Ashton gloated.
“He should take this as an opportunity to right his wrongs and show that he takes animal welfare seriously,"
However, Ashton claimed NZDIA award organisers “should have done their homework” in the first place."
"We live in the digital age where all of our online actions are taken as a reflection of our character,” she added. “It was no secret what Bertram was posting on social media and it should have been taken into account."