Thursday, 23 January 2020 11:55

Celebrating healthy food

Written by  Mark Ross, chief executive of Agcarm
New Zealand is world-leading in the production of safe, healthy and sustainable food. New Zealand is world-leading in the production of safe, healthy and sustainable food.

Mark Ross, chief executive of Agcarm on the work that goes into providing safe and healthy food to New Zealanders. 

What was the last thing you ate? Do you know where it came from, or the journey it took to get to your plate?

When consuming a meal, or creating one, we often think of how the flavours and textures work together, or how our family and friends will enjoy the experience of a meal lovingly created or dutifully thrown together last minute at the end of a busy day. 

We often don’t consider the farmers and plant scientists working diligently each day to maintain our nutritious food supply. 

Even before the first seed is sown, or animal is conceived, a range of science-based innovation and safeguards are in place to ensure that what ends up on the dinner plate is safe and good to eat.

Some people imagine that food is simple to grow, not considering the multitude of factors that got it through the supply chain and onto the plate. The threats that crops and animals face - from pests and diseases to harsh weather - can ruin a crop harvest or threaten the health of livestock.

Even farmers may be more fixated on weather forecasts, the prospect of a drought or water quality, than the veterinary medicines and agrichemicals - such as antimicrobials and herbicides - needed to ensure an abundant and reliable product to sell. But these tools are critical to farm production, to effectively manage pests and diseases, and grow our primary sector.

Protecting crops from pests and disease increases their quality and quantity, meaning a more abundant supply of less expensive food products, such as fruit and vegetables. Producing more food per hectare also means less destruction to our natural environment.

Chief executive of Agcarm, Mark Ross.

In New Zealand and overseas, the crop protection and animal medicine industries continue to invest heavily in cutting edge innovations to help farmers protect crops and livestock from pests. Agrichemicals and animal medicines have never been more thoroughly tested and screened to ensure safety as they are today.

In the land of the long white cloud, we are fortunate that all products in our food chain have been thoroughly tested and are safe - something not always guaranteed in other parts of the world. As a New Zealander, I am proud to be part of an agricultural industry that is world-leading in the production of safe, healthy and sustainable food.

So as you relax over the holiday break, consider a reality of food shortages and price increases for basic food. Imagine your supermarket with no food for the barbeque. It’s a dismal prospect. Enjoying a cool beer and grilling a good quality steak (or fake burger patty) in the sun is at the heart of many kiwi festivities at this time of year.

• Mark Ross is chief executive of Agcarm, the industry association for companies that manufacture and distribute crop protection and animal health products.

More like this

New president of Agcarm

The industry association for animal health and crop protection companies has appointed a new president.

Protect NZ food supply — Agcarm

Animal medicines and crop protection lobby group, Agcarm wants the Government to extend its COVID-19 support to the farming community for maintaining essential food supplies.

Changing the way we farm

OPINION: From weeding and spraying crops to taking care of cattle, digital technology is making its mark on agriculture.

Report shows value of ag chem

A landmark report reveals that without crop protection products, New Zealand’s economy would lose $7.5 to $11.4 billion.

Making pesticides safe

OPINION: A culture of trepidation about consuming foods which have been exposed to pesticides is misleading and has sparked much confusion of late.

Featured

 

Limited feed puts ewes at risk

Severe feed shortages in parts of the country mean many ewes are on a nutritional knife-edge heading into lambing and could be at risk of developing metabolic disorders.

Jack’s unique solution

Jason Jack was left with severe spinal injuries after a wakeboarding accident when he was 29, but that hasn’t stopped him getting out and about in difficult environments.

National

$10 payout!

A small but select group of Fonterra farmers are on the cusp of setting a new milk payout record.

The migrant workers dilemma

Dairy farmers want more Kiwi workers, but they also want relaxed immigration restrictions. So, what's the problem?

Producing milk, the Miraka way

The goal of Māori-owned dairy company Miraka, near Taupo, is to become the most sustainable dairy company in the world.

Machinery & Products

Landpower invests in cow central

One of Australasia’s largest, privately-owned farm machinery distributors, Landpower is building a new $10 million complex adjacent to Hamilton Airport.

Maize moisture in a moment

With forage maize playing such an important part of the New Zealand fodder supply chain, a useful hand-held moisture measuring…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

A ticking timebomb?

There could be another dairy health scare brewing in China and this one starts in our backyard.

Please explain

Does anyone in the Government understand the essential role St John Ambulance has in our society?

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter