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Farmers welcome Otago research on GM trade impacts

Key opportunities for New Zealand farmers marketing their products to the rest of the world rely on the integrity of our food assurance systems says Tom Lambie, President, Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc.)

Mr Lambie was referring to the recently released report by the Marketing Department of the University of Otago’s School of Business ‘Trust and Country Image- Perceptions of European Food Distributors Regarding Factors That Could Enhance or Damage New Zealand’s Image - Including GMOs.’

The report focuses on the key issues for New Zealand farmers marketing their products to the rest of the world, and has found that for consumers, confidence in production, hygiene and quality control standards are more important than airbrushed and digital landscape images.

“This report reinforces what Federated Farmers has been consistently saying. Consumers want to be confident in the integrity of the food safety system. The report endorses New Zealand's long established process of managing risk based on science, not spin.

“Federated Farmers has consistently said that a sound regulatory framework is fundamental to the success of NZ agricultural exports. Beyond that any premiums to be gained by promoting any particular aspect have to be commercially driven. They must deliver financial reward, not just higher cost.

“New Zealand supplies a wide range of consumers all of whom want to be satisfied that the have received value for money. They consume food not hype.

“The report clearly says the "gatekeepers" to the European consumer’s perceptions are based on confidence and trust- not on diffuse Public Relations generated images of landscape” concluded Mr Lambie.

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