A sector-wide "bold new vision" has been announced to lift New Zealand's primary industries sector to be world leaders in sustainability.

The Primary Sector Council announced its plan in Lincoln last week, called "Fit for a Better World".

"I'm delighted that New Zealand's major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council's vision — Fit for a Better World," Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said.

"The international consumers who buy our world-class product increasingly want to know the story behind their food.


"They want to know it's climate friendly and sustainably produced, with high animal welfare standards and by a workforce that's treated with respect and paid fairly."

Fit for a Better World is a vision developed by the Primary Sector Council, a group O'Connor appointed to help sectors navigate environmental and sustainability challenges.

"By using Fit for a Better World as our guide, I'm confident we'll achieve premiums in the marketplace from consumers seeking out our food and produce.

"As a government we're committed to helping farmers and growers get more value for their work while protecting our unique environment."

The Primary Sector Council spoke to farmers, growers, fishers, makers and crafters before putting forward a vision "the sector can rally around" O'Connor said.

Horticulture New Zealand's president, Barry O'Neil, immediately backed the vision.

"This is right for our sector as only by working together, will we respond successfully to consumer and government requirements.

"Consumers across the world are more and more interested in knowing exactly how the food they eat has been grown, harvested and transported.


"They also want to know that the environment has been well looked after, as have the people that have been involved in producing the food".

Beef + Lamb New Zealand's chairman, Andrew Morrison, said it was good to see the Government pledging to help farmers improve their international branding.

"New Zealand farmers are constantly having to adapt to shifting consumer demands in order to compete internationally and achieve a premium in the global marketplace.

Increasingly consumers are asking for assurances that the product is both sustainably and ethically produced".

DairyNZ's chairman Jim van der Poel said New Zealand's farmers were already world leaders when it came to the production of high-quality, pasture-based products with a low environmental impact.

"We are always striving to improve.


"Sustainable farming has a critical role to play in New Zealand's future prosperity and wellbeing. If we all work together to embrace change, adapt and thrive, Kiwi farmers have a bright future ahead".

The Primary Sector Council would develop its final report and recommendations, which were expected in March 2020.