A strong advocate for environment and agriculture, Corina Jordan is in the thick of it when it comes to the challenges New Zealand faces. As the Environmental Policy Manager for Beef and Lamb NZ, she believes the future of New Zealands farming is dependent on its ability to operate within environmental limits.
Having grown up in the thick of Taranaki’s dairy country, and now living in drystock country in Rangitikei. Corina started out with a career in veterinary care where she managed a practice in Auckland for three years before moving to Sydney for two years to manage a small animal intensive care unit. She then returned to university to retrain, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree covering zoology, ecology, and genetics. Corina then moved into academia as a molecular ecologist and geneticist at Massey’s Allan Wilson Centre. It was during this time she took the opportunity to progress her environmental qualifications gaining a first class honours in natural resource management. “This was an area of interest. Although I enjoyed teaching and research, I found that I missed the applied aspects of environmental management. This was an area I felt I wanted to make a difference in.”
With her solid science background, Corina then represented the environmental perspective of Fish and Game for over 9 years. As a fresh water ecologist and planner, and then later as the organisations Environmental Manager, she has been involved with some of the biggest regional plan changes NZ has seen in the past decade to try and address the complex issues of sustainably managing land and water resources.
Her journey has now taken a different turn. Corina has found herself immersed in the agri-sector, with a move into the sheep and beef industry working for Beef and Lamb NZ. Lucky to have Corina in the agricultural industry, she brings with her strong experience in development of integrated policy frameworks to sustainably manage land and water resources, and engagement across multiple stakeholders and communities to address complex natural resource management issues. Her current role sees her working with industry to promote sustainable farming practices, and the establishment of management frameworks for farming within environmental limits. Her involvement also extends to the Land and Water Forum, a collaborative governance process which the government has mandated to propose reform water management in New Zealand.
Corina joined Beef + Lamb New Zealand in August 2016 and has very much seen acceleration in the views towards agricultural practices and the environment. “Domestically the New Zealand public is demanding agriculture address its environmental footprint. Domestically and internationally consumer’s are starting to demand food which is environmentally sustainable and ethically produced. This poses a challenge for New Zealand’ as the countries reliance on primary production has important implications for the types and scale of environmental pressures we face.”
With the past two decades having seen significant intensification of land use, particularly dairying, she sees agriculture as arguably one of the the largest pressure on New Zealand’s land and freshwater. “Going forward it will be important to be able to tell our unique New Zealand agricultural story with honesty, transparency and integrity. Humane, ethical and environmentally sustainable farming practices will likely become prerequisites to New Zealand’s brand and our food story“.
Although sectoral efforts have intensified to minimise the environmental impact of our land based primary production, she believes New Zealand's natural resource management is still struggling to reconcile economic and environmental values within regional and national frameworks. “Enabling and empowering farmers to understand environmental concerns, to connect and work within their communities, and to deliver on the ground action, will be required if we are to achieve resilient and profitable farming businesses, vibrant rural communities, and healthy natural environments, moving forward. While there are challenges ahead for Corina, she is also excited about the opportunities and advances that she hope will arise when working with farmers to deliver sustainable and realistic water quality solutions for the country.
It is great that you have found your niche in the agricultural sector Corina. We love your take on New Zealand's agricultural brand, and agree that moving forward we all need to be responsible for telling our story.