NovaChem > Industry News > 2020 > Agrichemical products in good supply to meet demand

Agrichemical products in good supply to meet demand

Published on 01/07/2020

Words: Mark Ross

Alongside healthcare, nowhere is this chal
lenge more apparent than in food production. Nourishing the world during this crisis is a top priority across nations. Agriculture and our food producers were declared essential to support the health of people, animals and crops. Now in the recovery phase of the pandemic, New Zealand’s primary industries remain essential - not only for food - to support our economy as well. With a contribution to the GDP of over NZ$46 billion, the demand for our high quality produce around the globe remains robust. 

Our farmers, growers and the supply chain have been working tirelessly to ensure we have safe and affordable food to eat. Because of them, fruit, vegetables, meat, grains,milk and eggs continue to reach supermarkets, so people can access nutrient-rich foods. For the most vulnerable people across the world, food and nutrition security continues to be a concern. Organisations, like the Food and Agriculture Organization, are working to provide smallholder farmers with livestock, tools and animal health support, so they can continue producing animal food products for their local communities.

The need for animal medicines and pesticides to keep animals and plants healthy is more important than ever to ensure an abundant, healthy food supply. These input industries are essential to support our farmers and growers. With foresight and planning, any shortages of supply of these products have been kept to a minimum. The availability of products to meet grower and farmer demand for the 2020/21 season is faring well. The active ingredients used in these products are in good supply. The industry has experienced price hikes and delays – mainly due to freight and overseas factory closures – but is well prepared to meet these challenges. 

Our animal health and crop protection manufacturers have foreseen these issues and are sourcing materials well ahead of time to meet demand. They are relying on shipping to transport goods – to prevent increases in costs to the end consumer. This is because air freight costs are astronomical. Sea freight takes longer but is proving to be reliable and all shipping routes are open. 

Being prepared and planning well ahead of time has meant that the industry can forge ahead as normal. This means that there is no need to panic buy any animal health and crop protection products. At worst, your favourite brand may not be available for a while, but the active ingredient will be. Buy only what you need and don’t over-stock. Remember that keeping agrichemicals for a long time means that they could expire and you will end up wasting them and your money. This will also leave you with the problem of having to find ways to dispose of them. 

It is also important that farmers and growers continue to purchase products from reputable brand owners via recognised rural retailers. Recent checks on purchases via e-auction sites and some websites have revealed multiple listings for illegally branded and counterfeit products. Sellers are based anywhere from Australia to the United Kingdom. All the identified products are shipped illegally to NZ as none meet our regulatory requirements. Some products are not even sold in NZ or Australia due to regulatory concerns. These products do not meet our regulatory standards. Even more concerning, they have not passed the strict border biosecurity now in place within NZ. 

Purchase your products from ethical manufacturers and retailers, as you will be guaranteed a quality and effective product that adheres to regulatory requirements, safety and best practice. These brands also support product stewardship, offering free recycling and chemical recovery through Agrecovery. View the list of members on the Agcarm website to see which brands to buy and which retailers to buy from. This, in turn, will continue to ensure the production of safe and nutritious food.

Mark Ross is chief executive of Agcarm, the industry association for companies which manufacture and distribute crop protection and animal health products in New Zealand.

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