Fonterra helps to plant sustainable seeds in young minds


In heart of West Gippsland, the Warragul Playgroup now boasts garden beds, soil, plants, and top-notch gardening equipment, thanks to a helping hand from Fonterra.

The playgroup received a $3,500 donation from Fonterra to establish a Veggie Garden Program, setting them up to learn about healthy lifestyles and sustainable practices. 

Last week, representatives from Fonterra’s Darnum site joined the playgroup to help bring the program to life, spending time building garden beds and planting alongside thekids. 

Fonterra’s Regional Environmental Manager in Gippsland, Paul Winfield, went along to test out his green thumbs, and shared how he and the team enjoy taking a break from their day-to-day jobs at Fonterra’s Darnum site to spend time quality time in the community.

“The delight on the kids’ faces as they got their hands dirty was fantastic, and we enjoyed rolling up our sleeves to help them out as well.

“While initiatives like these seem small, they play an important part in instilling sustainable practices in the young minds of future generations. 

“Teaching the younger generation about sustainable practices is so important, and it’s something that resonates with Fonterra. “When children learn these values from an early age, it lays a solid foundation for them to become environmentally responsible adults who appreciate and respect the environment around them,” Paul said. 

"While initiatives like these seem small, they play an important part in instilling sustainable practices in the young minds of future generations."

paul Winfield, environmental manager, fonterra darnum

For over 35 years, the Warragul Playgroup has been a place of connection for parents and carers, and a space of socialisation and learning for babies, toddlers, and pre-schoolers. It’s currently home to 100 members of the local community, and this is expected to grow next term.

Warragul Playgroup President, Chantelle Jeffers, said support from organisations like Fonterra is important for small town groups as it allows them to offer a better experience for their local community.

“We want to teach kids about the environment, and how to grow and harvest their own food. We know that kids learn better from hands-on education, and thanks to Fonterra, we now have a program that is fun, interactive, and full of learning opportunities.

“In addition to teaching kids about healthy lifestyles and sustainable practices, gardening also teaches a number of social and life skills, like responsibility and how to care for something,” Chantelle said.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the support that Fonterra has given us to help bring this program to life, and we look forward to sharing our progress with its Darnum team,” she added.

If you know of a community group or initiative in need of support, please get in contact at