Local farmers share their sustainability stories
Sustainability is a key theme of Fieldays 2023 and is a big issue for many in the agribusiness sector. As you wind your way around the displays and exhibits at this year’s event, you may be wondering what actions farmers like you are taking.
Adopting sustainable farm practices and meeting changing regulations requires bold change. For this, you need the right team around you; your family, friends, fellow farmers and trusted advisers - with fresh ideas for your business model, finances and accounting.
BDO has been there supporting farmers across Aotearoa to meet evolving regulatory requirements and become more sustainable – helping them leave the land in a better place.
Learn more about the sustainability journeys of three local farmers in these videos and stories. Each journey - like yours - is grounded in its own unique circumstances, but there are some common success factors identified below.
Waimacher farms, Taranaki
Aaron Waite, an owner of Waimacher farms in Taranaki, has always been passionate about sustainability. Learn more about his journey in moving to more sustainable nutrient management practices and the business transformation in our case study:
Paringahau Station, Gisborne
Paringahau Station has been in the Holdsworth family for 120 years – it’s the goal of owner Jasper Holdsworth to have it stay in the family for another 120 years. Paringahau has implemented a range of measures around water, carbon and nutrient run-off which has included planting native trees along water ways, undertaking work to understand the condition of native forest across the farm and working to protect those from livestock, and starting trapping and noxious weed programmes. Learn more in our video:
The Wrekin Vineyard, Marlborough
Viticulture is a key area where consumer demand is driving change, with sustainable and organic wine taking off like never before. Learn more about how Andrew and Jan Johns are growing a sustainable farm at The Wrekin Vineyard in Marlborough in our case study:
VIEW THE CASE STUDY
Succession planning - key to a sustainable farming practice
Succession planning is also integral to ensuring a farm’s sustainability. But it can often be the elephant in the room and can be hard on farmers’ mental health. Not only does it require contemplating what life will be like beyond the days of a key family member, there can also be significant differences of opinion as to the best way forward for the passing on of assets. This can lead to anxiety, stress and the temptation to place succession planning in the “too hard basket” or put it off until later.
But the more you delay, the more difficult the succession planning process will become. Instead, there are plenty of ways you can make the process run smoothly – front-footing it and having conversations early is key.
Learn more about succession planning
Common success factors
Throughout these case studies and examples of farmers taking positive steps on their sustainability journey, there have been some common success factors:
When succession planning, starting early is key – front foot the elephant in the room instead of putting it in the too hard basket
Farming is complex – talking to a trusted team and collaborating where possible is essential to success, especially when managing major change
Sustainable decisions can require changes to your business structure – it's important to have an accountant on hand to help you in this and to provide a sounding board
Sustainability is a journey – you don’t have to do everything all at once, rather take manageable steps to enable you to leave the land in a better place.
Like most, the farmers we’re working with are on a journey. But each win is a step towards that better place. What’s your next step?
If you’re thinking about moving towards more sustainable farming practices, we can help. Talk to your local BDO Agribusiness adviser today to find out more.