LC4407-OLW-SLO-Final-Report.pdf (313.52 kB)

Social licence: final report on the nexus between producers and the public

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posted on 2024-06-21, 04:06 authored by Peter Edwards, Suzanne Vallance
The criteria used by the public and producers to assess 'good' farming are constantly changing. At present, they are reasonably well aligned. Social licence is negotiated in a range of places - from roadsides to supermarkets - but some settings are better able to provide opportunities for meaningful exchanges between publics and producers to negotiate and renegotiate social licence. Regulation of farming practices can influence the negotiation of a social licence, but it may also establish minimum compliance targets that are below what the public were expecting and what producers were willing to do on a voluntary basis. Non-statutory methods - from awards to support for catchment groups - may also be effective. Recommendations:
  • Industry bodies should continue to raise the profile of farming and support producers who are willing to engage in activities that allow meaningful exchange between producers and publics. Some examples may include open days, opportunities to meet at food related events, e.g. University of Canterbury's Community Feast, and kapa haka events.
  • While it is understood that SLO is not a legal requirement, local government activities play a key role in the broader web of legal, regulatory, political and actual licences (Gunningham et al. 2004). Increased recognition by local government of their role in the licencing web presents opportunities to align statutory and non-statutory mechanisms for greater effect.
  • The media can play a key role in SLO negotiations; their remit may be limited to raising awareness rather than negotiating and mediating. However, the sensationalism in their reporting often emphasises discord and friction. Industry bodies can play a key role by providing good new stories, and supporting campaigns like Meat the Need and Open Farms can be used to provide a more balanced account.
Contract Report LC4407 prepared for Our Land and Water National Science Challenge


Funded by the New Zealand Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment's Our Land and Water National Science Challenge (Toitū te Whenua, Toiora te Wai) as part of project Connecting Food Producers and Consumers


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