The importance of food security and people having access to fresh and healthy fruit and vegetables is being highlighted at the launch of the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables at Parliament.
“Access to fresh fruit and vegetable growers is essential for healthy people. What often gets forgotten is the vital role that the people who grow fruit and vegetables play in ensuring fresh fruit and vegetables are on the table,” says Horticulture New Zealand (HortNZ) Chief Executive, Mike Chapman.
“Covid has shown us that we cannot rely on imports and has highlighted how lucky we are in New Zealand that we can grow most of our own food. We need to make sure that we protect this ability.
“But at the same time, fruit and vegetable growers are being asked to meet increasingly strict objectives for climate change and compliance in general, without the important role of feeding people being factored in.
“If New Zealand is to meet its climate change and economic goals, growers and farmers need to be empowered to adapt and reduce emissions.
“The Paris Accord clearly states that producing food while adapting to climate change is vital. No food, no people. As a country, we need to grow fruit and vegetables to feed ourselves and to export, to earn essential overseas revenue.
“Give our growers the tools, incentives and time, and we could lead the world in climate change adaption and global food production. This will require significant research and development to find the tools and techniques needed to make a difference.”
Source: Horticulture New Zealand