Farmers, there’s plenty to celebrate

“Despite Monday’s Federated Farmers Confidence Survey results, there are many positives for the agricultural and horticultural sectors right now,” says National’s Agriculture Spokesperson Barbara Kuriger.

The survey conducted last month showed production expectations have dropped into negative territory for the first time since its inception in 2009.

Of the 1200 surveyed, 47% consider current economic conditions to be bad — down 55.6 points since January, when a net 7.8% considered conditions to be good. A net 80% expect general economic conditions to get worse — up 16.9 points for the same period.

“These results are mood driven by what is coming at them driven by other factors outside their control like the Government’s fiscal policy. But the biggest culprit is compliance, mounting regulation, economic, business, environment costs and debt.

“Topped off by our record high inflation, causing the substantial rise in farm input costs (fertiliser, fuel, feed), and the mental toll adds up.

“I have been saying this for almost two years now — the relentless pace of change by the current government in an environment where supply chain and border issues abound — is biting down hard on the very hands that feed us.

“I want food producers to know they are doing all the right things. We are receiving good money for much of our meat, milk and food crops and they have supported our country through COVID, to the tune of more than $52 billion this past year, alone.

“At this weekend’s National Party Conference in Christchurch we have dedicated a full day to primary industries.

“A picture for change is coming and I want food producers to hold onto that.”