Hawke's Bay farmers believe discussions with the Government on reducing greenhouse emissions is a positive step in the right direction.

The 20-year standoff with farmers over charging for emissions is ceasing, with sector leaders signalling support for a new system as soon as 2025.

Federated Farmers agreed that it was a priority to find a workable and affordable way that farmers could measure emissions at a farm level and hoped to adopt practices that would help drive down methane and nitrous oxide emissions.

But the industry is still against a more immediate proposal for processors to be hauled into the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), and wants Kiwis' feedback on its own one.


Te Pohue farmer and chairman of Apiculture New Zealand Bruce Wills said greenhouse emissions was not only an issue facing farmers, but every single person on the planet.

"That was why a group of eleven farm sector leaders came together because this is something that affects us, whether you're a dairy farmer, a sheep and cattle farmer or an orchard grower.

"Because of the size and seriousness of the issue we set out to work closely with Government, to hopefully come to an agreement where we could see progress from the NZ farming scene.

"This stuff is complex to work through on a farmgate level, to understand how we measure greenhouse gases, to understand how we mitigate those gases, so it's a partnership approach between the collective primary sector and Government."

Hawke's Bay Federated Farmers president Jim Galloway said farmers didn't agree with the universal pricing around methane, but was pleased that Government and farmers were now working together on the issue.

"It's how the emissions are calculated. If you do a cost process at the freezing works for example there is nothing to give a farmer a true signal of whether they're doing the right thing or not.

"If it's just done at a general cost for everyone per kilo, one farmer might be doing something really amazing and have low greenhouse gas emissions, but another farmer's might be higher. It doesn't send the right signals and we don't have anywhere near enough information and ability to measure it on the farm."