Producing the highest quality milk is at the very heart of our business. To ensure we continue improving milk quality and minimise dairying’s environmental footprint, we’ve developed Supply Fonterra – our programme of on-farm initiatives that supports our farmers and the Co-operative to help us maintain and grow a sustainable milk supply.
- Annual Farm Dairy and Environmental Assessment
- Milk Quality Support
- Milk Temperature Management
- Mastitis Support
- Animal Health & Welfare
- Effluent Management
- Nitrogen Management
- Waterway Management
- Water Use Management
In New Zealand and Australia, we build on existing animal welfare legislation and work with industry bodies (Dairy NZ, Dairy Australia) to run education and continuous improvement programmes. Within New Zealand these cover the prevention of lameness and mastitis, improve reproductive health, reducing inductions and improving the body condition of cows through scoring advice and tools.
Globally, our International Milk Quality team assess animal welfare as part of their milk quality audits in all markets outside of New Zealand where we source milk. This enables Fonterra to identify system gaps and recommend improvements to farmers.
This programme is tasked with supporting farms to identify if their equipment needs upgrading or replacing to meet the milk cooling temperature standard.
Since 2012 Fonterra has been offering a Mastitis Support Programme that provides tailored on-farm assistance to help find the causes of mastitis and reduce its occurrence.
One of our key sustainability goals is to have global animal welfare standards and supporting programmes across all regions by 2020. We are working closely with global industry organisations such as the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative and the World Organisation for Animal Health to develop global animal welfare best practice standards, indicators and outcome measures. These will become the benchmark for Fonterra’s 2020 Animal Welfare standards and will incorporate measures for our on-farm performance.
If an animal welfare issue is raised with Fonterra or DairyNZ, a Fonterra Regional Food Safety Manager, along with a DairyNZ Animal Husbandry Extension Specialist, will work closely with the farmer, and MPI if necessary, to offer support and assistance.
Support includes developing a step-by-step action plan, conducting cow Body Condition Scoring, developing a feed budget, and recommending the services of Federated Farmers, Rural Support Trust and farm dairy consultants if necessary. Follow up visits will take place to ensure the action plan is being carried out.
At the end of July 2015, 98 per cent (24,352 kilometres) of defined waterways on mapped farms were stock-excluded *1, up from 95 per cent reported last year. In addition, 99.4 per cent of regular water crossings have now been bridged or culverted. (Source: 2015 annual report).
*1 This includes approximately 535km of waterways and 35 stock crossing points with dispensations, primarily due to management plans achieving stock exclusion through a temporary or natural barrier. Taranaki farms are excluded from these statistics as they are covered by the Regional Council programme. 99 per cent of all other farms have been mapped.
The Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord (SDWA) is a commitment to New Zealand to enhance the overall performance of dairy farming as it affects freshwater through continuous improvement and partnership. 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.
The Accord has targets focused on effluent management, nutrient management, water use efficiency and riparian management (stock exclusion and riparian planting). Reporting against the targets in the Accord commenced in 2014.
The SDWA replaced the “Dairying and Clean Streams Accord” (DCSA) which Fonterra signed in May 2003 and ended in December 2013.
Supply Fonterra will continue to align its environmental programmes to the Accord’s requirements to support our farmers in meeting these commitments.
The 2013/14 full lifecycle estimate of greenhouse gas emissions for New Zealand milk to the farm gate was 0.90 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilogram of fat-and-protein corrected milk (kg CO2-e/kg FPCM), or 11.68 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilogram of milk solids (kg CO2-e/kg MS). This was a four per cent decrease from the 2012/13 season and at 0.62kg CO2-e/kg FPCM, was the lowest animal emissions intensity in 10 years. The reduction was primarily associated with increased productivity on farm, including increased milk production per cow, but also due to a small decrease in the emissions associated with nitrogen fertiliser use, supplementary feeds and land use change.