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New Zealand: Environment and agriculture can both benefit from CPTTP agreement

Agribusiness expert dr. Nic Lees of Lincoln University claims that the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTTP) trade agreement has the potential to transform the agricultural sector while at the same time benefitting the environment. However, he added, the public needs to be convinced of that.

The CPTTP is the re-negotiated Trans Pacific Partnership (after the US withdrawal); a free trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Negotiations have concluded, but it is yet to be ratified by New Zealand. The agreement has met some public and political opposition.

“The CPTTP could change the sector,” dr. Lees said. “Where New Zealand producers are exporting high value branded products we see an associated increase in concern for the environment. The producers know they need to meet consumers demand for products to be produced ethically and sustainably.”

Community Scoop reports dr. Lees citing the example of the wine and kiwifruit industries. “They are committed to minimising their environmental impact not because of regulations, but because they market high value products and their customers demand that these products are produced sustainably. This will provide incentives for farmers to meet higher environmental standards voluntarily.”

“If the public can be convinced about the benefits coming from the CPTPP, it will be seen not only as a win for global collaboration but as a win for all New Zealanders.”

Publication date: 2/9/2018



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