The Co-operative Difference will make it easier for farmers to know what is expected today and in the future, as well as recognise those farmers who are taking steps to produce high quality milk in a more sustainable way.
The farmer-owned Co-operative has signalled its new strategy will put sustainability at the heart of everything it does, empower the Co-op to maximise its New Zealand heritage and uniqueness, and help it to remain a globally competitive New Zealand co-operative.
Co-operative Affairs Managing Director Mike Cronin says, “Sustainability for our Co-op is about more than the environment. It’s about looking after our people, caring for animals, adapting to changing customer and consumer expectations, and respecting the communities and land where we live and work.
“We are proud of the global reputation Fonterra farmers have for producing high quality milk. Farmers have made tremendous progress on farm to date and The Co-operative Difference will help us take that good work to the next level so we can continue to create goodness for generations to come.”
The Co-operative Difference will support the Co-op’s emerging strategy direction by:
- recognising farmers who go beyond the minimum requirements to supply high-quality milk, care for their animals, protect the environment, support their people and community, and engage in their Co-operative;
- helping other farmers follow suit by making existing on-farm requirements easier to understand and by providing tailored, industry-leading support services to those who want to improve;
- providing more information and advance notice to farmers about our future aspirations so they can plan and progress towards our shared ambitions;
- streamlining reporting and auditing to save farmers’ time and energy, and help the Co-op protect its market position, strengthen its sustainability claims, and drive demand for products that customers and consumers value most; and,
- supporting farms wanting to improve, while taking a firmer line with those that persistently fail to meet minimum standards, and exercising our rights to suspend collection.
“Consumers and customers increasingly want to know that their food choices support a sustainable future. How we farm and make our products needs to reflect these aspirations so we can remain a globally competitive New Zealand co-operative.
“Our Co-operative’s strong dairy heritage and pasture-based system separates us from the pack but we must continue to earn our customers’ and consumers’ trust and loyalty. The Co-operative Difference will help us share the good work happening on farm through our Trusted Goodness™ commitment,” says Mr Cronin.
The Co-operative Difference was developed in consultation with farmers who wanted their Co-op to simplify and reduce complexity of requirements, provide direction on priority on-farm improvements, and increase pride in the Co-op by recognising high performing farms in a way that aligns with the Co-op’s values.