New Zealand

Living Water is Fonterra's long-term commitment to caring for New Zealand's waterways, ensuring dairying works alongside natural habitats and ecosystems of healthy, living water – now and for the future.

Department of Conservation Partnership
On March 7th 2013, Fonterra and the Department of Conservation (DOC) signed an agreement to work together to care for some of New Zealand’s most sensitive waterways. We share joint co-ordination of a $20 million community investment over 10 years. 

Fonterra and DOC hold a common interest in protecting New Zealand’s waterways; we recognise that quality water from natural habitats underpins New Zealand’s environmental health and economic prosperity. By combining our on-farm best practice systems with DOC’s conservation expertise, we will get more done together than if we worked alone.

Our partnership aims to make a meaningful difference to the water quality at five sites near Fonterra’s farms and factories:

  • The Kaipara Harbour
  • Tikapa Moana - Firth of Thames
  • Waikato Peat Lakes
  • Te Waihora- Lake Ellesmere
  • Awarua-Waituna Lagoon
We are working with our communities in these areas including farmers, iwi, councils and environmental care groups to deliver measureable biodiversity benefits.

Fonterra will continue to build on the good work that our farmers, manufacturing sites and the former Catchment Care programme have been doing to make a difference to New Zealand’s waterways and surrounding habitats.

Where can I find out more?
Further information can be found on the Fonterra Living Water website –

To find out what was achieved throughout the four year Catchment Care programme in partnership with Conservation Volunteers New Zealand visit 

Conservation Volunteers New Zealand will continue to provide volunteer support services where appropriate through the partnership with the Department of Conservation.  

Grass Roots Programme
As a farmer co-operative we are dedicated to supporting the social needs of our current and future generations. The Fonterra Grass Roots Fund supports projects, ideas and initiatives that bring our rural communities together and make them better, safer and more vibrant places.

Through the fund we aim to sustain healthy, vibrant communities by sponsoring ideas, projects and initiatives that make a real impact. We have supported over 1,800 initiatives since the programme was established in 2007, making a huge impact in our local communities across New Zealand. Sponsorship funding has provided worm farms and recycling facilities for local schools, seedlings for riparian planting programme and equipment for emergency response services.

The fund opens doors for a wide range of community projects with grants of between $500 and $5000. To be considered for support, your initiative or activity must fit within the categories and criteria outlined below.

1. Bringing Communities Together
2. Caring for our environment
3. Making our Communities Safer 

To find out more about our sponsorship categories, please click here.
To apply for funding today please click here to complete an online application form. 

Case Study 1: Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service (MMLS)
“The Split Basket Stretcher that Fonterra Grass Roots Fund enabled us to purchase is invaluable to our Volunteer Lifeguard Service. We are often called out to assist St Johns with transport of patients from the very popular Mauao base and summit tracks, most recently the stretcher has been utilised to transport patients with suspected broken ankles and also one with injuries to head”

Glenn Bradley – General Manager - Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service

The core purpose of the MMLS is volunteer lifeguarding and surf and land based rescue services on and around Main Beach, Mauao and Pilot Bay. Thousands of hours are dedicated to the public by volunteers patrolling the beach and coastline from Labour weekend to Easter Weekend every year as well as the provision of a year round, 24hr emergency call out squad.

Requested funding – Goal to be able to provide effective safe transportation of patients requiring stretchering. The Split basket stretcher is imperative for use when attending significant injuries on or around the Mount Maunganui base or summit tracks and also the regular beach environment.

MMLS perform more callouts to patients around the mount than do rescues in the water, with 1 million visits per year, inevitably a few people have accidents on the various popular tracks.

The MMLS has over 400 active members.
Support was granted for MMLS to purchase a new Ferno Split basket Stretcher.

Fonterra Milk for Schools
To make sure Kiwi kids benefit from the goodness of dairy, Fonterra Milk for Schools offers free milk to every school with primary- aged children in New Zealand

Milk is an important building block to a healthy life. Our primary school years are the formative years of growth and development and we all want every Kiwi kid to have the best nutritional start. Milk is filled with vitamins and minerals that children need for sustained growth and to support energy, concentration and learning in the classroom. 

The Fonterra Milk for Schools programme offers Year 1 to 6 students a free serve of Anchor milk every school day, and provides schools with fridges to chill the milk and delivery as well as collection of used packages for recycling. 

Fonterra Milk for Schools has been rolled out nationwide with kiwi kids benefiting from delicious dairy nutrition. There are over 1450 schools taking part from the top of Northland all the way down to Stewart Island, including Great Barrier and the Chatham Islands!

Te Puke Primary School – Grass to Glass Song

For more information or to register your expression of interest in Fonterra Milk for Schools click here

Fonterra Milk for Schools Recycling Programme
Fonterra takes its commitment to the environment seriously and has developed a robust recycling solution to ensure empty milk packs, straws and straw wrappers are collected and recycled.

Ministry for the Environment accreditation - The Fonterra Milk for Schools recycling programme has been awarded accreditation as a voluntary Product Stewardship Scheme under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008. This award reinforces our on-going commitment to the programme. A lot of thought went into the development of the Fonterra Milk for Schools recycling process and it is commendable that the robustness of the programme has been recognised by the Minister for the Environment.

As part of the accreditation annual recycling objectives have been set and will be reported on annually. 

2013 Packaging Council (NZ) Environmental Packaging Awards
The Fonterra Milk for Schools recycling DVD won The Video Challenge Award at the 2013 Packaging Council (NZ) Environmental Packaging Awards. This is a great achievement as the DVD supports the roll out of the Fonterra Milk for Schools Programme. The Fonterra Milk for Schools recycling DVD is aimed at students and the judges applauded the DVD’s effective messaging through humour and clever characterisation.  

Kick Start Breakfast
KickStart Breakfast is a breakfast-in-schools programme which is the largest of its kind in New Zealand with more than 750 schools enrolled and with over ten million breakfast served since the start of the programme in 2009.

Fonterra and Sanitarium partnered in February 2009 to collaboratively work with local school communities to provide a healthy breakfast to those who most need it. Fonterra provides Anchor™ Milk and Sanitarium the Weet-Bix.

In May 2013, the New Zealand Government announced support of up to $9.5 million ( $1.9 million per year for five years) and its partnership with KickStart Breakfast enabling the expansion of the programme from two days to five days per week.

Fonterra and Sanitarium only provide the product.  It's up to the school’s community to provide provisions including bowls, spoons, a central location, food storage facilities and of course the people to run the breakfast club.  The ‘community partnership’ model is an effective one, as by focusing on the critical aspect of food rather than logistics, KickStart is able to provide a breakfast offering to more schools.

Our clubs also provide the space for children to develop social and life skills they can take into adulthood. This is where long-term success begins.