The Agriculture Research Group On Sustainability (ARGOS) seeks to secure market access for New Zealand’s food and fibre exports. A large part of the work has been concerned with the design of sustainability KPIs and eco-verification of eco-labels (eg. Organic and ‘Integrated Management’ market QA schemes).
ARGOS was led by Jon Manhire and supported by his colleagues in The Agribusiness Group. Economic and social research is contributed by Lincoln University’s Agribusiness & Economic Research Unit, and social and environmental dimensions of sustainability are researched by staff and students at University of Otago’s Centre for Sustainability: Agriculture, Food Energy & Environment. Henrik Moller designed and led the environmental research objective of ARGOS from 2003 until 2010, when it was taken over by Dr Catriona MacLeod from Manaaki Whenua - Landcare research.
ARGOS was at first a stand-alone project (2003-2012), but now continues as an umbrella structure and research coalition to support more specific projects like the Sustainability dashboard and the Climate Smart agriculture project.
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment
Zespri International, Fonterra, Canterbury Meat Packers, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, New Zealand Wine, Merino New Zealand Inc., Certified Organic Kiwifruit Growers Association, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry Sustainable Farming Fund, Organics Aotearoa New Zealand, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade
The Agribusiness Group, Christchurch
Contact for reference:
The project has produced over 500 individual farmer reports, 100 research reports, 50 Research Notes in easy to understand popular style and 40 peer reviewed papers in science journals.
A few examples of those involving Ecosystems Consultants include:
Merfield, C.; Manhire, J.; Moller, H.; Rosin, C.; et al.. Are organic standards sufficient to ensure sustainable agriculture? Lessons from New Zealand’s ARGOS and Sustainability Dashboard projects. Kim Etingoff (ed). Sustainable Development of Organic Agriculture: Historical Perspectives. New Jersey: Apple Academic Press. (2016)
Alrøe, H. F., H. Moller, J. Læssøe, and E. Noe. 2016. Opportunities and challenges for multicriteria assessment of food system sustainability. Ecology and Society 21(1):38. http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-08394-210138
Manono, B.O., Moller, H. Effects of stock type, irrigation and effluent dispersal on earthworm species composition, densities and biomasses in New Zealand pastures. Pedobiologia - International Journal of Soil Biology 58: 187–193 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pedobi.2015.09.002 (2015)
Craig, J.L; Moller, H.; Norton, D.A.; Williams, M.; Saunders, D. Enhancing our Heritage: Conservation for 21st Century New Zealanders: Ways forward from the Tahi Group of Concerned Scientists. Pacific Conservation Biology 19:256-269. (2013)
MacLeod, C.; Blackwell, G.; Weller, F.; Moller, H. Designing a bird monitoring scheme for New Zealand’s agricultural sectors. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 36: 312-323. (2012)
Fukuda, Y.; Moller, H.; Burns B. Effects of organic farming, fencing and vegetation origin on spiders and beetles within shelterbelts on dairy farms. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 54: 155-176. (2011)
Blackwell, G; Lucock, D.; Moller, H.; Hill, R.; Manhire, J.; Emanuelsson, E. Abundance and diversity of herbaceous weeds in sheep/beef pastures, South Island, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 54: 53-69. (2011)
Darnhofer, I.; Fairweather, J.; Moller, H. Assessing a farm’s sustainability: Insights from resilience thinking. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 8: 186–198. (2010)
Campbell, H.; Rosin, C.; Norton, S.; Carey, P.; Benge, J.; Moller, H. Examining the Mythologies of Organics: Moving beyond the Organic/Conventional Binary? Pp 238-251 in: Lawrence, G., Lyons, K. and Wallington, T. (eds.) Food Security, Nutrition and Sustainability. Earthscan: London. 295 pp. (2009)
MacLeod, C.J., Blackwell, G., Moller, H., Innes, J., Powlesland, R. The forgotten 60%: bird ecology and management in New Zealand’s agricultural landscape. New Zealand Journal of Ecology. 32: 240-255 (2008)