November 23, 2013

Fonterra committed to improving New Zealand water quality

Fonterra says today’s Parliamentary Commissioner’s Report into water quality forms an important part of the discussion on how New Zealand manages land use and protects waterways.

Fonterra Group Director Cooperative Affairs, Todd Muller, says, “We share the Parliamentary Commissioner’s concerns about the pressure on New Zealand’s waterways and recognise the role we have to play in improving water quality.”

Mr Muller says the past twenty years have seen growth in dairy farming as global demand for dairy has increased. This has provided significant economic benefits to New Zealand and farmers have responded well to managing their impact on water by fencing waterways, managing raceways, tracks, paddocks and effluent, and reducing run-off through riparian planting.

“Fonterra and our farmers have undertaken a significant amount of work to protect waterways, but we recognise there is more to do,” says Mr Muller.

The Report recognises that water quality has been shaped by the cumulative effects of increased land use by a multitude of industries and highlights the effects of nutrients.

Mr Muller says that Fonterra is working with scientists and primary industry organisations on improving nutrient use and providing farmers with information to manage farming systems efficiently.

“This year we’ve collected nutrient data from nearly 4,000 farms which will provide information to farmers on how to mitigate the impact of nutrients.

“We are absolutely committed to lifting environmental performance and ensuring on farm management practices meet national and regional limits that preserve New Zealand’s clean green image,” says Mr Muller.