Environmental

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”
[Native American proverb]

 

A healthy ecology is the basis of a healthy economy. As stewards of the environment, we use our skills to develop new practices and technologies. In the farming world and beyond, we want to be an example of ‘doing well by doing good’.

Fertile, well-structured soils

Good soil, together with our human capabilities, is our most important asset. We maintain fertile and well-structured soils with optimum amounts of air, water, nutrients and biological activity.

 

We limit erosion, compaction, contamination, run-off, nutrient imbalances and salinisation, and we explore natural soil enhancement measures. We minimise soil disturbance from cultivation techniques, animals and machines.

 

In Argentina we use no tillage. Planting is done through the residues of previous plantings, which increases the natural humidity and organic matter in our soil. We grow crops in strict rotation always paying attention to the soil carbon content.

 

Animal welfare and husbandry

We care for our animals’ health and comfort in how they are fed, housed, kept occupied, medicated, handled and transported.

 

We minimise the use of antibiotics and we have banned growth hormones.

 

We practice good livestock management. We work to prevent livestock-related soil damage, water pollution, and habitat loss, and the spread of animal diseases to humans.

 

In New Zealand, we move sheep between paddocks by using open gates and minimal use of work dogs. The sheep find their own way to the new paddock, and this reduces the stress levels in our sheep significantly.

Natural, varied crops

When choosing crops, we select from a wide genetic pool, employ crop rotation and improve the crop mosaic in the area. We use genetically modified organisms (GMO) where nationally accepted.

 

We practice responsible integrated pesticide management on our farms, and investigate complementary methods of natural crop enhancement and protection. Worldwide we are banning the use of hazardous pesticides, even if these are approved by the local authorities.

 

In Victoria, Australia we have an integrated pest management programme. We follow the populations of pests and beneficial insects in the crops and pasture to ensure we only control pests when necessary.

Healthy, species-rich ecosystems

A living farm landscape is crucial to every aspect of agriculture, including soil and water quality, and crop and animal health. As stewards of vast tracts of land, we protect our regional fauna and flora. We encourage native, diverse, threatened, and ecologically important species, as well as protecting their habitats and ecosystems.

 

Parts of our forests are under Natura 2000 protection. Natura 2000 was designed to protect the most seriously threatened habitats and species across Europe. Our environmental assessment study of the area has shown that we host several of the large carnivores in Europe such as lynx, grey wolves and brown bears.

Clean, plentiful water

Agriculture depends on water. We use water efficiently and cleanly. To produce ‘more crop per drop,’ we use the best irrigation systems, avoid unnecessary water-use and recycle water where possible.

 

We protect the farm waters from fertilisers, chemicals, sediment and animal waste by promoting riparian buffer zones where no farming activities are taking place.

 

In Tasmania, we are effectively using irrigated agriculture with our 21 irrigation pivots. To ensure there are no adverse environmental effects of irrigation, we have researched the  water shed, salinity and downstream affects and created internal irrigation guidelines.

Beautiful farms

Our farms must be beautiful, clean and tidy. We always keep our farms’ complete aesthetic appeal firmly in mind.

 

We protect natural, historical and architectural features, create cultures of order and tidiness on farms, and encourage gardening and tree planting.

 

In Uruguay we have renovated the old farm buildings on all our farms respecting the local traditional colours and overall design.

We believe that good farming can both feed the world and protect the environment