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environment

Helping our farmers ‘Plant for Good’

  • November 07, 2019
  • 4 min read

A healthy environment is essential if we are to continue meeting our customers’ expectations and getting the most value from our milk. 

Farmers are increasingly being asked to do more when it comes to improving water quality, combating climate change, and reducing emissions. 

“They are ready to take on the challenge and our Co-op will continue to support them,” says Richard Allen, Director of Farm Source. 

“This season, our Co-op launched the Co-operative Difference. It brings together existing on-farm requirements and makes them easier to understand. It also gives our farmers clear guidance on likely future requirements and supports them with regional advice and industry partnerships,” explains Richard. 

Today at our Co-op’s Annual Meeting, Chairman John Monaghan and Chief Executive Miles Hurrell shared more about the Co-op’s new strategy and how it will put sustainability at the centre of everything we do.

“Planting is an important part of the solution to the environmental challenges we face, but it’s estimated that nearly half of what’s planted doesn’t survive because they aren’t the right for the region, climate or soil,” said John.

“So, I’m pleased to announce this morning ‘Plant for Good’ - a new partnership between Farm Source and Wildlands that will reduce the cost of on-farm native planting.

Plant for Good will deliver plants and services to all Farm Source customers nationwide at a discounted rate. And quite literally, it will mean our farmers only have to plant once.

Plant for Good guarantees a survival rate of at least 90% for the first 24 months, achieved through expert plant selection, regionally sourced plants and ongoing maintenance.

John Monaghan, Fonterra Chairman


Wildlands Chief Executive Sarah Beadel says, “We’re really excited to offer this exclusive pricing and service through Farm Source. We know farmers are keen to plant for a variety of reasons and we’re here to support them, making sure that when they plant, they plant for good.”

Fonterra farmer Sam Spencer-Bower from Rangiora welcomed the news saying, “Planting is about doing the right thing. We have to front foot some of the issues that are coming at us. We’ve got to do the right thing for the environment and for the farm.

While some farms who are ahead of the game like Sam’s may not need this service, Sam says it will help others bring their farm up to standard, especially if they don’t have the planting know-how or time to do it themselves.

“All farms are different in terms of how they are run, how much time they have. Some farms will struggle to make it happen and this is a good way to get it done.

Sam says the advice provided through this service will help farmers save money long term.

“Unfortunately, not enough thought goes into what’s being planted. A lot of people throw things in, but if you don’t do it properly or have the right spacing – it’s money down the drain. I’d recommend chipping away at it every year and when you do it, do it right,” he says. 

This new initiative is in addition to the on-farm tools, services and solutions that the Co-op already provides to help farmers run healthy and sustainable businesses.

‘Plant for Good’ will align with a farm’s Farm Environment Plan (FEP). An FEP is a tailored plan that identifies opportunities for improvement or risks that need to be addressed.

Fonterra’s Farm Source team is able to use its scale, regional knowledge and expertise to develop FEPs with farmers at no additional cost. Already 23% of our farms have an FEP and we’re on track to ensure all farms have one by 2025. 

Plant for Good

Time to watch: 1.5 mins