International Farm Trade Friday, Jun 22, 2001
Optimistic noises about a new broad-based new round of World Trade Organisation talks will begin later
this year is encouraging in an environment where good news on improvement the fundamental trading
arrangements between countries is important to NZ farmers
Yesterdays Quarterly Economic Overview by WestpacTrust economists warned that the outlook for the global
economy remained dour, highlighting risks to the recent growth in New Zealand's export sector.
But even worse were the bank’s comments that NZ export revenues have struggled to grow beyond
the impact of the low exchange rate, good growing conditions and cyclically high commodity prices.
Farming has had a period excellent farm gate returns that has given a long needed lift in optimism and
investment on the farm but who and what is looking after the need to be better positioned in our
markets in the future.
Where is the leadership, where are the policies that will provide stability during this next commodity
At times it seems the Minister of Agriculture and Trade is overwhelmed by his task while his pedantic
mates busy themselves with knowledge think big projects or the saving of some significant piece
of nature or plotting and protesting against the globalisation wave.
Is NZ drifting further into a success by accident phase again? Farmers need to recognize that in a deregulated
environment the initiative rests with the producers to ensure that they are driving the
market and are forceful in their demands for a fair international trading environment.