[21 August/Rural News]

Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, said farmers should get used to the increasing costs of farming in New Zealand. He added the reality was we are in a world that was scrutinising every part of our farming operations. He referred to accountability and product origin when explaining this. He claimed a recent apple contract with the UK was lost as the exporter couldn’t guarantee the labour component of the production system received fair wages and conditions. He added it was a wakeup call to the industry and we would be under similar scrutiny for every part of our systems including animal welfare, environmental management and labour. He noted NAIT was seen as an unnecessary cost when introduced, however would have its benefits.