Output Tool Technical Report 2
Jingwei Ke, Pexels

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Barriers to Environmental Change

December 2020

Farming in New Zealand is changing. The environmental impacts of farming are presenting more interlinked challenges. The pressure is on farmers to shift from the methods adopted in the second half of the 20th century, towards an integrated system supporting healthy people, healthy land, and healthy return on investment. There are significant new policies and expectations of food and fibre producers and for many, meeting them is likely to require some on farm changes. In order to enact change we must first understand the barriers.

Farmlands embarked on a project to investigate the barriers to enacting environmental change.

A range of barriers emerged from interviews with farmers and industry representatives; barriers to the uptake of existing tools and initiatives, as well as barriers to change more broadly. The barriers identified were both on the farm and beyond the farm boundary, and some were specific to the adoption of existing tools and initiatives.

On farm barriers include knowledge gaps around regulations and lack of expertise, financial barriers such as high debt, and fear as a barrier to change. Off farm barriers include poor industry leadership, difficulties in translating government policies into actions, and the culture and practices within the banking industry.

Report for Farmlands Cooperative

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