Proposed reforms to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) must recognise that New Zealand pig farming produces very low emissions says NZPork.

According to NZPork, pig farming currently contributes just 0.2 per cent of New Zealand's total Greenhouse Gas (GHG) agricultural emissions, but pigs have been included in the proposal to price emissions at a farm level.

"The research and analysis that has been done to make the decision on pricing agricultural emissions has been based on other farming systems," said NZPork General Manager David Baines.

"However, pigs have monogastric digestive systems, like people, so they naturally produce much lower methane emissions than ruminant animals like cattle or sheep.


"Our industry is much smaller, our emissions are comparatively minimal, and our methods of farming are very different. Our farmers are also competing with cheaper imported pork products, which is placing pressure on the industry. Decisions on emissions pricing need to avoid disproportionately impacting pig farmers by including them in a system that wasn't designed for them" said Baines.

NZPork General Manager David Baines. Photo / Supplied
NZPork General Manager David Baines. Photo / Supplied

In a statement, NZPork said it was calling for the Government to consider the impacts of emissions pricing on the pork sector, and to investigate alternative options for supporting emissions reductions.

"There is real potential for the pork industry, as a naturally low emission animal protein, to play a valuable role in feeding New Zealanders in our future low emissions economy," said Baines.

"In order to do that, pig farmers need to participate in a system that is fair to them, will help to reduce emissions and will not disproportionately impact them."

Despite already being a low emission sector, pig farmers were committed to reducing GHG emissions said Baines.

"We are focused on helping our farmers understand the emissions profile of their farm, understand options for emissions reductions at the farm level and supporting them to implement mitigation measures to reduce emissions."