Saving the environment has become a top priority in the last couple of years. Most people are doing their part to minimize their carbon footprint (even Starbucks). However, New Zealand has progressed by leaps and bounds, and if Climate Change Minister James Shaw has it his way, they’ll become the first food producer to be emissions neutral.
This zero emission label would be a highly successful brand, if New Zealand is able to pull this off. “The branding around that I think is amazing and it builds on our existing brand strength,” Shaw said at Fieldays.
“It catapults that up to the next level. If we can be the world’s first – for lack of a better phrase – net zero food producer with all of those other things then that adds value to the food product itself, but also the IP [intellectual property] and the technology you have to invent in order to do that becomes a value.”
While Shaw described the technology as ‘the holy grail’ he was quick to acknowledge that there was no easy solution. “We are talking about a 30-year transition. The whole point is to create a sense of certainty of where the pathway is and to drive innovation.”
When questioned about carbon leakage Shaw said, “We are cognisant of a risk of carbon leakage – the idea that production could move to somewhere with a lower standard – and therefore actually end up producing globally more emissions and nobody wants that.”
While all the schematics haven’t been worked out to the t, it’s exciting to know that we could very well be eating food that doesn’t contribute to the carbon footprint.