Exploring the potential disconnect in agriculture between industry bodies and farmers in their sustainability strategies and priorities
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Commerce
The concepts of sustainability and environmental practices are investigated in the context of agriculture, in order to understand the impact of sustainability and the environmental challenges that farmers encounter in their business and their relationship with their industry bodies Beef + Lamb NZ and Dairy NZ. There has been significant work on sustainability and agriculture by authors such as MacLeod and Moller (2006), Yunlong and Smit (1994) and Pretty (2008). This is explored further with the utilisation of an exploratory qualitative approach. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with dairy, sheep and beef farmers in Canterbury, who were levy payers of the above organisations. The findings from these interviews were analysed thematically to produce findings not previously covered in this research area. Included in this is trust with and reactivity of the industry bodies, the possible disconnects present within the industry, and the importance of telling the farmer story to the general population and society. It appears that farmers undertook and had strong values towards sustainability and environmental practices. They understood the purpose of the industry bodies but often they did not utilise and interact with them as much as they could. A model around sustainability and environmental priorities in relation to the agriculture industry is contributed. This includes the themes that emerged that have influence on the research. As a result, limitations and areas that require further research, and a discussion of the findings concludes the chapters.