Grass Fed Goodness

Grass fed goodness in every glass
Dairy goodness from lush New Zealand pastures. Fonterra cows graze the way nature intended - on lush, green pastures.

 And thanks to New Zealand’s fertile soil, abundant sunshine and temperate climate, our cows spend 97% of non-milking time grazing outdoors*. That’s ​​350 days, which is more than anywhere else in the world. Our cows enjoy a vast variety of nutritious plants in their diet including grass, grass silage, hay and forage crops.

A unique way of farming

The style of pasture-based farming practiced in New Zealand is unlike farming in most of the world. Our temperate climate provides great conditions for cows to live outdoors on pasture all day, year-round. In some parts of the country, cows may be housed over the winter months, but for the rest of the year they will be fully outdoors, only coming into the shed for milking.

The majority of our cows’ diet is composed of pasture grazed directly in the paddock, but some farms will store excess feed to give to animals at times of the year when grass growth is slower. On average our cows are on pasture around 350 days a year.

Every drop of our grass fed milk is full of natural nutrition

While all dairy milk contains a unique bundle of 10 essential nutrients, including high-quality protein, bio-available calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium and vitamins A, B2 and B12, our New Zealand grass fed milk also contains higher levels of beta-carotene and the healthy fatty acid, Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA).

We’re experts at growing grass

As a country, we know the importance of good grass for good milk. That’s why New Zealand has invested years of research into improving grass genetics, quality and how we grow it. The New Zealand dairy industry and Fonterra’s Farm Source team have a strong network of agronomists who support ​our ​farmers in effective grass management.

Our commitments

Nothing we grow is GMO

All feed grown in New Zealand for our cows is from plants that are not genetically modified. In New Zealand, there are strict laws against breeding and growing GMO (Genetically Modified Organism).

Our on-pack Claims

The Fonterra New Zealand Grass-Fed Standard requires our cows to be 80% grass fed on a dry matter basis and spend 90%+ of non-milking time grazing outdoors at a minimum. 

Our cows are 96% grass fed (as consumed)^ and spend 97% of non-milking time outdoors. 

When you see these on-pack claims, you can trust that the product has been made using dairy ingredients certified to our Fonterra New Zealand Grass-fed Standard, which has been independently certified by AsureQuality.

AsureQuality is an independent Conformity Assessment Body accredited by JAS-ANZ. 

* Of the top 15 dairy exporting countries (based on annual dairy product export volumes in 2023 and including New Zealand), only Ireland operates a similar pasture-based model to New Zealand.  

Based on Irish data presented in O’Brien et al. 2018, dairy cows in Ireland have access to pasture, on average, 255 days per year.  In New Zealand, data from Fonterra Farm Dairy Records show that our Fonterra New Zealand cows spend, on average, 97% of their non-milking time outside on pasture which is more than 350 days of a year. This is calculated annually and reported as a rolling three-year average. 

^ as consumed’ basis on a rolling three-year average – this is equivalent to 89% on a dry weight basis.