Animal Wellbeing

Our cows roam outdoors year round

Thanks to New Zealand’s fertile soil, abundant sunshine and temperate climate, our cows spend around 350 days every year grazing outdoors on lush green grass, just as nature intended. 

Our natural farming approach means our cows live long and healthy lives. They don't often need antibiotics and they have some of the lowest somatic cell counts in the world, which gives us high quality milk. 

​​​Being out in the open air has positive benefits for our cows.

Pasture provides both natural nutrition and a soft surface for cows to rest and roam. They are exposed to lower levels of environmental bacteria, making them less susceptible to disease. Pasture-based dairy farming also lets cows exhibit their natural behaviours, freely choosing where to eat, drink and who to socially interact with.

​​​97% of non-milking time spent on lush New Zealand pastures.

​​​96% of New Zealand cows’ diet is grass, hay, silage and forage crops.

​​​350 days every year grazing outdoors.

Animal Wellbeing Plans

We’re on track to have Animal Wellbeing Plans on every Fonterra New Zealand farm by 2024. 

85% of our farmer owners in New Zealand have an Animal Wellbeing Plan prepared with their vet, and every farm is held to high standards. Animal wellbeing goes beyond reducing negative experiences, to recognising the importance of positive experiences.

Our Animal Wellbeing Standard

Our Animal Wellbeing Standard formalises the process for assessing and managing animal wellbeing on Fonterra farms

Monitoring animal wellbeing indicators helps to identify at-risk farms and provide appropriate support.