Blue change-up signals solidarity

For the past 4 years, Agpac has supplied distinctive coloured balewrap to farmers, in support of the Blue September appeal. This gives farmers around the country the option to ditch their traditional green or white bale wrap and join the fight against prostate cancer. 

Looking like giant smurf stools, the wraps are a stark reminder to all passers-by and farm visitors of the most common cancer Kiwi men face as well as the need to get checked.

One in every eight Kiwi blokes will develop prostate cancer before they are 75 – that is at least eight men being diagnosed every day. The fatality statistics (over 600) are the equivalent to the whole town of Akaroa or Eketahuna being wiped out over the course of a year.

As New Zealand’s leading crop packaging supplier, Agpac worked with Farmlands to raise thousands of dollars for the Prostate Cancer Foundation last year. “We get orders from large-scale rural contractors through to onemanbands,” says Chris Dawson, Agpac General Manager.

“We’re the only supplier in this space doing it and people are happy to switch up their orders to visibly support charity.”

Adam Hill, Station Manager for Queenstown Park Limited, was a shareholder that ordered one of the largest amounts of blue bale wrap via Farmlands channels last September. The 2,350ha deer farmer near Cromwell does all his own balage – over 1,000 bales a year to be exact. 2018 was the first year they had purchased the blue product.

“We did it to support a good cause. We are aware of the impact cancer in general has on rural communities,” he says.

“Using a different colour each seas on also helps us to know which bales are made in which season.” Adam had some blue-wrapped bales on the roadside and it prompted questions from a few people which was a good opportunity to raise awareness of the disease.

He believes there is a lot of social pressure on farmers at the moment and they are often doing more than the public sees. That said, Adam thinks in some cases farmers can front foot issues better.

“It’s a hard one – what’s perceived to be being done and what is actually being done can be vastly different to the general public. I would like to see more positive stories on farming coming out in the media. Particularly with a ‘changing of the guard’ happening – the next generation are ready to adapt to challenges around the corner.”

Adam thinks the little extra cost is negligible in what is a great chance for farmers to show support, not just for personal reasons but as a signal to the public that farmers are in on public health issues too.

Agpac delivers a rainbow effect on the nation’s landscape, as it also produces pink wraps for breast cancer charity Sweet Louise (which was a world first) and yellow for the Child Cancer Foundation. “We want to give back to our community and our staff are really proud to be a part of this,” says Chris.

Agpac’s blue bale wrap is on Buying Power Promise for shareholders this month. A donation from each purchase goes towards PCFNZ’s Blue September appeal. To order, contact your Technical Field Officer or the staff at your local Farmlands store.