The Good

We are owned by 10,500 farmers who, despite being in the middle of a very difficult downturn, continue to help New Zealand in many ways.  Here are just some of them.

Every school day, we provide free milk to two thirds of New Zealand’s primary schools.  

Our Milk for Schools programme is the biggest community programme undertaken by any New Zealand company. 

The facts

1,455 New Zealand schools are participating (68 per cent of all eligible schools).
More than 140,000 children are drinking our milk every school day.
68 million packs have been delivered by the programme.

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We’ve teamed up with Sanitarium and the Ministry of Social Development to provide a free nutritious breakfast to over 28,000 Kiwi kids every week. 

We call them KickStart Breakfasts, and between us, we supply free milk (Fonterra) and Weet-Bix (Sanitarium) to New Zealand primary and secondary schools.

The facts

Schools say KickStart breakfasts help children nutritionally and make a positive impact on learning behaviour.
More than 870 schools participate.
125,000 breakfasts are served per week.
13 million breakfasts have been served since 2009.

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We provide New Zealanders with great nutrition through iconic kiwi brands like Anchor and Mainland.

Milk is a natural source of many valuable nutrients people need. It is the richest natural food source of bio-available calcium and also contributes many other essential nutrients including protein, vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B12 and zinc.

The facts

Anchor Uno was launched as a smooth, probiotic yoghurt targeted at kids with an added bundle of vitamins and minerals to support healthy immune systems in children. It also contains zero artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners.
At Tip Top, we have made some exciting changes to our iconic ice cream and ice blocks by replacing all artificial colours and flavours with natural alternatives.

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Since 2007, the “Fonterra Grass Roots Fund” has supported more than 2,000 local community projects. 

It’s our way of giving back to the heart of the community. We support projects that promote community safety, spirit and well being as well as look after the environment.

Just a few examples

In Northland, we have been supporting the Far North Search and Rescue team; recently we purchased them 20 new high-powered torches.
In the Manawatu, we support the Volunteer Rural Fire Force by helping fund new equipment to help keep them and their community safe.
In the Upper South Island, we have supported 55 community groups in the past year. The Motueka Search and Rescue team used our funding to purchase new wet weather gear for their team.

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We have fenced over 97 per cent of defined waterways on our farms to protect water quality.

Through the ‘Sustainable Dairying Water Accord’, we are committed to improving water quality and using water responsibly wherever we operate, and supporting the protection and restoration of water-based natural habitats. 

The facts

We have spent over $1 billion on environmental initiatives on our farms over the last five years, with the majority of investments on effluent system upgrades.
We have excluded dairy cattle from more than 97 per cent of defined waterways and ensured that more than 99 per cent of regular crossings have a bridge or culvert.
86 per cent of our farms have nitrogen management reports, giving useful information to reduces the risk of leaching.

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We’ve partnered with the Department of Conservation to create ‘Living Water’ areas.

Living Water is our 10-year partnership with the Department of Conservation (DOC) that is working towards a sustainable dairy industry being a part of healthy, functioning ecosystems that together enrich the lives of all New Zealanders.

The facts

In the Kaipara Harbour (Northland) we’ve been enhancing wetlands and floodplain management.
At the Firth of Thames / Tīkapa Moana (Hauraki Gulf) – we are protecting the habitat for shorebirds, flyways and farming on the coast.
At the Waikato peat lakes we have focussed on restoring the unique peat ecosystems.
In Te Waihora / Lake Ellesmere (Canterbury) we are transforming drains into living waterways.
At Awarua -Waituna (Southland) we are protecting and reconnecting wetlands.

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Dairy contributes over $8 billion back into rural and provincial towns.

Our farms are spread right across the country and are a huge part of rural communities.  We are one of the largest employers in rural communities, providing jobs and on-going training right across New Zealand.

The facts

In Waikato, 9,322 people are employed in the dairy industry. Last season, dairy contributed $2.3 billion into the Waikato economy.
In Taranaki, 2,620 people are employed in the dairy industry. Last season, dairy contributed $919 million into the local economy.
In Canterbury, 6,775 people are employed in the dairy industry. Last season, dairy contributed $2 billion into the region’s economy

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We employ over 22,000 people globally, so we offer amazing opportunities for Kiwis who want to join our team and share our dairy goodness with the world.

With a global network of offices and sites around the world, we are the world’s leading dairy exporter and one of the largest milk processors. We’re also New Zealand’s biggest company.

The facts

More than 6,000 members of our team have worked for our Co-operative for 10 years or more. 1,150 of those employees have worked here for more than 25 years.
Asia is a cornerstone of our global business. We have more than 2,500 staff working in 13 offices, four manufacturing sites and distribution partners across the region.
The overall dairy sector employs 42,000 regional workers – a 30 per cent increase over the last 10 years.

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For decades we have led the world in dairy innovation and continue to invest in research and development that benefits all New Zealanders.

Providing safe, sustainable nutrition is one of the most significant global issues. Dairy nutrition has a huge role to play in helping to solve this issue.   Through research and development we’re able to make superior dairy nutrition accessible to more people, helping to improve health at key life stages. 

The facts

We’re one of the world's largest investors in dairy innovation, having invested over $1 billion in the last 10 years.
We employ more than 400 scientists and support staff at our Research Centre alone.
An $11 million upgrade has doubled capacity of the lactoferrin plant at Hautapu. Lactoferrin is an iron-binding protein used in infant formula and health foods and is in high demand in Asia.

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We’ve been at the forefront of New Zealand’s global exports for over 50 years, and we make up 25 per cent of New Zealand’s exports.

We are one of New Zealand’s only truly global businesses. 

The facts

During the peak of the dairy season, we close the door on a container of dairy exports every three minutes.
We export 95 per cent of the 18 billion litres of milk that our New Zealand farmers produce each year.
Our products represent more than 25 per cent of total New Zealand merchandise exports and seven per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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The global work we do over there

We’ve been developing amazing dairy products for decades and sharing them in over 100 countries around the world.

The gripes we hear about us

New Zealanders are never afraid of expressing a view and we’re not afraid to answer it.  Here’s some of the things that are said about us and the real facts as answers.