Monday, July 11, 2011

Sustainability an investment, not a cost

The rising global appetite for sustainable business practices is presenting New Zealand with opportunities that we could only have dreamed of a few years ago.

A recent visit to Italy and the UK showed me that our efforts to capitalise on this are certainly being rewarded.

A key reason for my visit to Italy was to lead the New Zealand delegation to the inaugural Ministerial Meeting of the Global Research Alliance in Rome. 36 member countries have now joined this New Zealand-led initiative to produce more food while reducing global gas emissions.

The Alliance is another example of New Zealand’s reputation for smart thinking and decisive action leading the way.

While in Rome I also led the New Zealand delegation to the 37th meeting of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

A visit to Milan gave me the opportunity to visit some modern highly-mechanised fashion mills that are turning out absolute world quality products utilising New Zealand merino.

These visits reinforced that New Zealand exporters have to be at the high-value, top-quality end of production if we are to continue to sell to some of the best in the world.

Before heading home I spent some time in Wales where I met with Prince Charles. We discussed New Zealand’s commitment to the campaign for wool, the Global Research Alliance and sustainability.

All of these meetings reaffirmed for me that New Zealand’s sustainable credentials are continuing to open doors for us.

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