Agricultural Progress Assessment

How ready are farmers for farm-level emissions pricing?

Our advice to Government

In June 2022, we provided Ministers with our assessment of how ready farmers and the agriculture sector are for emissions pricing, and advice on what work still needs to be done. 

The full report and related documents are available below:

How we developed our advice 

Our assessment looked at the agriculture sector’s progress towards measuring and reporting agricultural emissions at the farm-level, and making sure farms have effective plans in place to manage emissions. We considered what support farmers might need for agricultural emissions pricing, and any barriers that could prevent farmers and the sector from participating in a farm-level pricing scheme.  

Our advice has drawn on the best available evidence. There are some specific aspects we needed to take into account when forming our advice, including current and upcoming requirements on farmers, existing and future technology, social circumstances, how impacts are distributed, and the Crown-Māori relationship.  

Engagement played an important role as we developed our advice. We spoke to people who hold the knowledge and information we needed to ensure our advice was robust. At the same time, this is complex mahi and many groups were being asked to consult or engage on over-lapping and similar pieces of work. We worked to coordinate and streamline engagement where possible. 

Why this advice is important 

Our assessment will help the Government understand how ready farmers are for an emissions pricing system that is practical, effective and equitable. The Government’s decisions in December 2022 should provide clarity on what emissions pricing farmers will face.  

For a farm-level pricing scheme to be effective, it must drive emissions reductions while being practical to participate in. An equitable scheme is one that is workable for a range of farm types – including for iwi/Māori collectively owned land – and that manages social, cultural, and environmental impacts.   

We know that farmers need a clear and consistent way forward, and more certainty on what the future will look like for the sector. Many farmers have already started moving to lower emissions practices on farm. It will be important for farmers to know their emissions profiles ahead of any farm-level pricing scheme – so they know where their emissions are coming from, and what actions they can take to reduce them.