Fonterra boosts support for Trees for Survival 


Following last year’s success, we’re ramping up our support for Trees for Survival, to provide seedlings and resources to 22 schools so students can plant native trees. Last year, our support allowed students from five schools throughout New Zealand to collectively plant over 5,000 native trees. 

This spring each school will pot up 1,000 native plant seedlings which they nurture in their custom built, irrigated shade house.

The following autumn, the students will set out on planting days, where they’ll plant the native plants along waterways to improve water quality, and on hillsides to help prevent erosion. Their planting will also help provide food and habitat for wildlife.

Shaheen Junge, Fonterra’s Community Engagement and Social Investment Manager, explains there’s a special connection formed through the replanting process. “The students replant the mature seedlings on Fonterra farms, so it’s quite a full-circle moment.”

Denise Strathern, a teacher at Pirongia School, one of the schools supported last year, says the planting days are an amazing opportunity for the students.

“We had a fabulous few hours planting native plants alongside a waterway on Waikato farmland. Students learnt how the trees soak up the waste from farming animals to help keep our waterways clean.” 

It means we can educate hundreds of students on conservation through the planting days and our environmental education programme.

Phil Lyons, National Manager, trees for survival

Phil Lyons, Trees for Survival’s National Manager, says the support will mean seven new schools can join the programme. “It means we can educate hundreds of students on conservation through the planting days and our environmental education programme.”

Fonterra’s support provides each school with resources such as a custom-built, irrigated shade house, so students can learn how to care for their own native plants through Trees for Survival’s environmental education programme.

The 22 selected schools are either participants of the Kickstart Breakfast programme, or are near a Fonterra shareholder’s farm or Fonterra manufacturing site. 

This partnership was made possible through Fonterra’s Hapori Programme, which operates with partners across New Zealand to:

  • put good quality nutrition in the hands of those who need it  

  • protect and regenerate the environment 

  • provide the care and support that keeps our communities strong. 

Established in 1991 Trees for Survival is a charitable trust which works with over 215 schools and local communities across NZ to grow and plant native trees along waterways and on erosion prone hillsides. They are an environmental education programme teaching the importance of native plants on native ecology and through growing, planting and engaging with their environment helping create a healthier future for themselves and future generations. In 2022, 5000 students were involved, planting over 123K native plants. Head here for more information, or to support Trees for Survival yourself.