The New Zealand Farm Environment Trust and Synlait have joined forces to create a Climate Stewardship Award that will be implemented nationally in 2019.

The accolade will be available to Ballance Farm Environment Awards entrants and joins a combination of awards that support an important ambition shared by the trust and its national partners: to champion and celebrate sustainability - environmental, social and economic - in farming and growing sectors.

The Climate Stewardship Award will recognise and showcase a farmer or grower on a journey to manage their carbon footprint.

By showcasing their efforts, the trust and Synlait say they are confident the award can be a catalyst for the type of transformative progress New Zealand's wider primary sector deserves.

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Joanne van Polanen, trust chairwoman, said: "Farmers are already employing a range of practices to manage their carbon footprint and adapt to climate change. We're thrilled to be working with Synlait who are at the forefront of incorporating sustainability into food production in New Zealand.

"This is an important opportunity to increase awareness of an increasingly important agri-food production issue. Through the award, we will be focused on providing practical examples of environmental stewardship that farmers and growers can learn from."

Hamish Reid, Synlait's Director of Sustainability, said: "The creation of the Climate Stewardship Award is a brilliant opportunity to reward farmers that are future-proofing their businesses. In an effort to promote transformation amongst the sector, we will also showcase their leadership in an area crucial for New Zealand's future prosperity."