INDEPENDENT NEWS

Good News For Farmers

Published: Tue 17 Jul 2001 03:31 PM
Farmers can get the best value from their fertiliser dollar with the integration and development of two fertiliser quality assurance schemes announced at the Federated Farmers national conference in Rotorua today.
Federated Farmers owned and operated fertiliser quality assurance scheme Fertmark will develop the vehicle calibration programme Spreadmark in association with the New Zealand Groundspread Fertilisers Association.
Fertmark chairman and former Federated Farmers president Graham Robertson says the integration and development of the two schemes will deliver considerable benefits to farmers and the wider community.
"As a farmer I need to know that the fertiliser I'm using contains the appropriate nutrients, is applied evenly and at the correct rate to maximise performance. As a consumer of land-based food products I need to know that the food I'm buying is safe to eat. Fertmark and Spreadmark can provide these assurances," Mr Robertson said.
"Using Fertmark registered fertilisers and Spreadmark certified spreaders has potential financial gain for farmers in terms of achieving higher yields. It is able to give consumers assurances that the food they buy has been grown under strict conditions and adheres to stringent food safety standards. It also improves environmental outcomes."
"Fertiliser is a huge cost to a farmer and we need assurances that any risks associated with placing fertiliser on our land will be managed effectively. The new scheme can provide not only farmers but also consumers with quality assurances. I urge farmers, consumer groups, fertiliser manufacturers, spreader organisations, regional councils and all other concerned parties to support the scheme."
The integration of the schemes, announced by chair of the Primary Production Select Committee, Damien O'Connor, has approval from the whole fertiliser industry, including farmers, manufacturers and spreader operators. Representatives have worked together to integrate the schemes and will form a fertiliser quality council to oversee their development.
The move has been sealed by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Federated Farmers and New Zealand Groundspread Fertilisers Association.
ENDS

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