(National Party media release)

Farmers are likely to be even more confused at Labour’s floundering approach to farming emissions following today’s announcement, National’s acting Agriculture spokesperson Todd Muller says.

“Labour is all over the show. Just a few months ago Labour were proposing to decimate sheep and beef farming by 20 per cent – now they are saying they want to work with the farming sector on how the pricing scheme will work and they will consider carbon sequestration.

“Labour’s process shows a complete disregard for farming realities, and the fact they have made this announcement four days before Christmas is cynical politics.

“Farmers have lost trust in Labour. This is too little, too late and doesn’t go far enough.

“Our farmers are the most carbon efficient in the world and presented Labour with their plan, He Waka Eke Noa, to reduce agricultural emissions back in May – and Labour chose to ignore it.  

“Instead Labour came up with their own plan that would have decimated up to 20 percent of sheep and beef farming, sent jobs and production offshore, increasing global emissions. And it limited opportunities for farmers to earn extra income from on-farm planting and carbon capture.

“Labour’s approach has not been a partnership – it has been about twisting farmers’ arms as far up their backs as the Government thought it could get away with.

“Now after feeling the brunt of the sector’s anger, Labour has announced changes to their emissions pricing scheme. This follows their earlier tweaks around carbon sequestration.

“National supports a price on agriculture emissions but we have consistently said it has to be sensible and must not send production overseas.

“National backs farmers and will build a genuine partnership with them. We will also  invest in new technology and ensure that carbon sequestered on-farm will count. It is technology, not bankruptcy, that will solve this problem.

“Details and clarity matter. All Labour has done today is muddy the water.”