Open feedback sessions for farmers

// B+LNZ

B+LNZ will hold a series of informal sessions around NZ from 29 May into June to listen to what farmers have to say and to better understand their thoughts on key issues and opportunities. The sessions are part of B+LNZ’s response to farmer concerns raised during the recent annual meeting remits process.

image of farmers at field day

B+LNZ Board Chair Kate Acland says the remits received, and voting on them, showed the need to get out and listen to farmers more.

“We heard what the remit proposers and voters said, and we are committed to taking tangible actions to address the issues they’ve raised. 

“As a Board we’ve identified the need for a reset in how we engage with our farmers. The first step is to get out there and listen and to let farmers tell us what they’re concerned about in more detail.

“We’re also interested in hearing from farmers what opportunities they see and how we as an organisation and a sector can make the most of those opportunities.”

Acland says a series of informal sessions in woolsheds or other local facilities was a logical choice. 

“There’s nothing like fronting up to someone and talking things through face-to-face. We’re aiming to cover the country and make it easy for farmers to come along to a session near them. 

“The big focus for the sessions is on listening – there will be no presentations or set agendas, and it’s up to farmers to tell us what they want to talk about. We would also like to hear farmers’ thoughts on how we best work through current and future issues and represent their views.

“Though we expect to be able to give farmers an update on some of the big issues like agricultural emissions pricing, these sessions are primarily about smaller groups discussing what’s really important to them and where they think B+LNZ should be focusing.”

Each session will include the local B+LNZ farmer director and a member of B+LNZ senior management. 

Full details for all sessions will be added to the event webpage on B+LNZ’s website as they’re confirmed. Sessions in some areas will be confirmed after others, so keep an eye on the website, upcoming e-diaries and your email inbox. 

Acland says the farmer feedback sessions will help inform work on the key areas of focus identified during the remits process. 

“The three main considerations – reviews of the Farmer Council’s role and of B+LNZ’s advocacy and consultation approaches, along with whether B+LNZ should stay in the He Waka Eke Noa partnership – are very much interconnected.

“The issues we’re grappling with are complex and there are no easy answers, but we’re committed to involving farmers in our responses to the annual meeting remits and the issues they raised.

“B+LNZ is developing detailed plans and we’ll keep farmers updated as these reviews and resets take shape.”