Fonterra water quality move welcomed

Forest & Bird today congratulated dairy giant Fonterra for introducing a new requirement on their farmer suppliers to keep stock away from waterways.

“We welcome this initiative by Fonterra as a really good idea as part of efforts to halt the continuing decline in our water quality,” Forest & Bird Advocacy Manager Kevin Hackwell said.

“Many farmers have already taken steps to fence their waterways and we are pleased to see Fonterra is ensuring that those who are lagging behind will now be required to do what has been expected of them.”

Fonterra said yesterday it would require all its suppliers to fence waterways on their farms within 18 months as part of their supply contract. Many farmers have already fenced waterways voluntarily as part of the Clean Streams Accord but others have been slow to act to stop cows defecating and urinating in streams and causing erosion to the banks of waterways.

We are encouraged to see that Fonterra’s move acknowledges that voluntary steps by farmers will not always achieve full compliance. Including environmental requirements in these commercial contracts is a valuable way to step up efforts to turn around the decline of our water quality,” Kevin Hackwell said. 

Forest & Bird would like to see other dairy companies follow Fonterra’s lead.”

Apart from requirements on waste discharges under the Resource Management Act, which are also included in Fonterra’s supply agreements, steps by farmers to improve water quality are voluntary under the Clean Streams Accord.

Kevin Hackwell said measures under the accord encouraging farmers to put culverts or bridges on stock crossings of waterways on their farms could also be included as part of supply contracts.

The Clean Streams Accord between Fonterra, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), the Ministry for the Environment, and Local Government New Zealand was signed in 2003 and sets voluntary targets to encourage dairy farmers to reduce water pollution.

Friday, 2 December 2011, 3:25 pm
Press Release: Forest And Bird