CRV Managing Director James Smallwood was honoured to be part of the National Sustainability Showcase at Te Papa in Wellington on Thursday evening – this time as an industry partner, not an entrant!
The event is part of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards and is run by the New Zealand Environment Trust (NZET), of which CRV is proud to be a strategic partner. It is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate good farm practices that promote sustainable land management.
As a past entrant in the Awards, James understands what is involved and was impressed by presentations during the evening from each of the Awards’ Regional Supreme Winners.
“As an industry leader, CRV has an important role to play in recognising farmers who are making a difference and giving them a voice to influence future generations,” he says. “The 2021 regional winners have without a doubt demonstrated exceptional leadership and have done our industry proud. My sincere congratulations to them all.”
James says CRV’s partnership with NZET is a natural fit.
“Our relationship with the Trust makes sense as we are both driven to support farmers who are striving for business and environmental excellence on farm.
“More and more, our industry is finding itself in unchartered territory around its ‘licence to farm’. For some time, CRV has been working with farmers and our industry partners to create solutions that protect and enhance the environment of which we are stewards.
“Our job is to help New Zealand farmers breed an animal that stays in the herd, is productive, healthy, and continually improves its environmental footprint.”
The new National Ambassadors for Sustainable Farming and Growing and recipients of the Gordon Stephenson Trophy were Evan and Linda Potter from Central Hawke’s Bay. The Potters run a sheep, beef and deer farm. They were delighted to receive the award and said the highlight for them has been the opportunity to meet other likeminded farmers.
Other speakers during the evening also celebrated the wider agriculture industry.
Joanne van Polanen, Chair NZ Farm Environment Trust said the Awards showcased the amazing things happening on farm and on orchards, and the farmers involved were an inspiration.
“During the entry process we work together for positive change and we are heartened to learn your stories,” she told the finalists.
Hon Damien O’Connor, Minister of Agriculture, said people want to be connected and that the awards evening was an opportunity to acknowledge leadership in the agri-environment.
His message was that we can achieve our targets, because we are driven by the best farmers in the world. Those who buy our products have choices and we thank those who choose us. He encouraged the audience to be the inspiration for and aspiration of our farming community.
Mark Wynne, CEO Ballance Agri-Nutrients celebrated the fact that our farmers are recognised as essential services during the global pandemic.
“For too long our showcase farmers have not shared their stories. We are an industry that is thriving.”
He believes our vision for a better future, coupled with storytelling, will attract the very best talent to our industry and our offshore customers to our products. He encouraged farmers to tell their stories.
Two speakers were dairy farmers and 2020 regional finalists of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards. Kaiwaiwai Dairies were winners from the Greater Wellington region, with Tony Coltman and Dana Carver of Canlac Holdings Dunsandal winning the Canterbury regional competition.
Tony Coltman suggested other dairy farmers interested in entering should start making changes now. Change takes time. “Know your numbers and understand the tools available.”