Farmers in the Hurunui Waiau zone deliver improved environmental performance
The Amuri Irrigation Environmental Collective (the Collective) has completed its fourth year of Environment Canterbury approved Farm Environment Plan auditing and the audit showed good results for most farms within the Collective.
275 audits have now been completed by Environment Canterbury-approved independent auditors with results showing a steady improvement in environmental performance among Collective members over the four years.
The Collective presented the annual Farm Environment Plan Auditing results for 2018/19 to the August meeting of the Hurunui Waiau Water Zone Committee.
Who are the Collective
All Amuri Irrigation shareholders and most larger irrigating farms within the Amuri, Hawarden and Hanmer Springs area are members of the AIC Environmental Collective which was established in early 2013.
The Collective’s Environmental Management Strategy (EMS) was first approved by Environment Canterbury for audited self-management in 2014, with the latest version approved in December 2018.
The EMS specifies the required content of Farm Environment Plans, which all members must have, and Good Management Practice standards for farm management.
Committing to Farm Environment Plans
“The Collective is pleased with the steady improvement in performance over the four years, with 97% of all farms in the AIC Environmental Collective at either B or A grade.
Our members care about the environment and are committed to demonstrating sound environmental management practice that leaves a secure legacy for future generations,” said David Croft, Chair of AIC.
All farms that are part of the Amuri Irrigation Collective must have a Farm Environment Plan in place within six months of joining the Collective and the plan must be independently audited within three years of joining.
The Hurunui Waiau Zone Committee welcomed the results at its 19 August meeting, recognising particularly the transition by a number of farms from lower to higher audit grades.
Environment Canterbury Zone Manager Andrew Arps said the results were “encouraging”. “They are a good demonstration of the effectiveness of Environment Canterbury’s audited self-management programme,” he said.
Working with farmers towards further improvements
“While the audit showed good results for 97% of farms in the Collective, it also showed a considerable reduction in the number of farms with poorer grades, with 0% at D grade and only 3% at C compared 20% C and 6% D in the first round of auditing in 2015/16.
Amuri Irrigation Collective members should be proud of the result, but there is always further room for improvement and we will keep working with farmers towards this.”