Edited by M.R. Butcher, J.T.S. Walker and S.M. Zydenbos (2007)
New Zealand is renowned for its innovative primary production practices and high quality produce. Integrated fruit and wine production are the mainstays of horticultural export while intensive pastoral production, in an environment free of international animal diseases of concern, is the basis of that sector. All sectors are striving for production best practice that has minimal environmental impact, maximises food safety and minimises inputs. Unfortunately New Zealand is not a low cost producer. Land and labour costs are high, therefore 'produce NZ' must be targeted at high value markets. Increasingly producers are being subjected to demands from buyers that add significant compliance costs for no increased financial return. They also face restrictions on production practices by people half a world away with no understanding (or desire to understand) the unique production environment in New Zealand. Their concerns, concealed in phrases such as 'consumer demands', are purely to maximise their market share. The future of New Zealand's primary production industries lies with how these pressures are addressed today.
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