Fonterra farmers open their gates


More than 8,400 people visited 16 Fonterra farms throughout New Zealand on Sunday 11 November to learn about how our farmers work hard to care for their animals, while protecting the waterways and environment.

In its second year, Open Gates gives Kiwis the opportunity to experience a day on a working dairy farm, chat to the farmers, experience the cows being milked, see a Fonterra milk tanker and try some delicious dairy products.

For Lisa and Darren from Auckland, it was a chance to have some questions answered.

“I really wanted to see the cows, and I had some negative perceptions about the sustainability aspect, but was really surprised at how well they do it and how well they take care of the waterways.”

For Linda and Ricardo, it was all about showing their kids where our food comes from.

“We come from a farming background and wanted to show the kids how it all works. It was brilliant, well done to the team and Sue and Scott.

“We’re both really surprised to see how many people came. A very diverse range of cultures. I’m a teacher, and most kids don’t know about this whole side of the supermarket.”

Highlights from the day included guided farm tours and sustainability presentations. Young and old alike also enjoyed trying a special Jersey Caramel flavoured ice cream that the team from Tip Top had made specially for the day.

Fonterra Brand Director Jillian Laing, said that Open Gates is a chance for transparency and education.

“We are so proud of the work our farmers do every day.

“Open Gates gives Kiwis the chance to see what goes on behind the gates, get their questions about food production and sustainability answered. Our farmers love telling their stories, so it works perfectly.”

Many visitors left hoping that the event will be repeated next year.