Clean Streams Accord: Working Towards Better Water Quality

Our commitment to water quality is reflected in the Dairying and Clean Streams Accord and its successor.


In May 2003 we signed the “Dairying and Clean Streams Accord” (DCSA). The DCSA was an agreement between us, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry for the Environment, and Local Government New Zealand (on behalf of regional councils). 


The Accord is a voluntary environmental initiative designed to contribute towards clean, healthy freshwater resources including streams, rivers, lakes, groundwater and wetlands in dairying areas. It expires at the end of 2012 with final results reported at year-end.


It set targets related to water quality. These and their current status are:


  • Exclude 90 per cent of stock from waterways by 2012. 2010/11 result 84 per cent.
  • Bridge or culvert 90 per cent of all regular stock crossings by 2012. 2010/11 result 99 per cent.
  • Achieve 100 per cent compliance with effluent discharge regulations by 2010. 2010/11 result 69 per cent.
  • Nutrient management plans used by 90 per cent of farms by 2012. 2010/11 result 99 per cent.

To support progress, Fonterra has introduced annual checks of the effluent systems on every supplier’s farm, with remedial plans developed for non-compliant systems and a requirement to fence all Accord waterways on farm by 2013. In the 2013 season, suppliers are also recording on-farm nutrient inputs and outputs.


In late 2012 the Accord will be succeeded by “Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord” (Accord 2). It seeks a further step change in the management of risks to waterways posed by dairying, and to expand the Accord to include other dairy companies and partners. It is based on the common desire to identify, protect and enhance the benefits and experiences New Zealand enjoys in freshwater, from fishing and swimming through to gathering mahinga kai.