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Bay of Plenty set for cleaner streams

Bay of Plenty set for cleaner streams

For immediate release: Monday 16 June 2008

Improving the quality of Bay of Plenty waterways in farming areas is at the heart of an agreement signed today by Environment Bay of Plenty, Federated Farmers and Fonterra Co-operative Group.

The Regional Action Plan sets out the commitment from each partner to meet national dairying Clean Streams Accord (CSA) targets in the Bay of Plenty region. It also outlines the role each organisation will play in working with farmers to achieve these targets.

Environment Bay of Plenty and Fonterra will advise farmers and provide resources and advice to ensure:

* 90 per cent of Bay of Plenty dairy cattle are excluded from rivers and lakes by 2012; * 90 per cent of regular crossing points will have bridges or culverts by 2012; * All local farmers comply with resources consents and regional plans around diary effluent discharge; * Nutrient inputs and outputs are managed by all farmers.

Environment Bay of Plenty chief executive, Bill Bayfield, says the agreement is a positive step for the region.

"Many of our farmers are making good progress in fencing off waterways and the majority are meeting regional standards of effluent management," Mr Bayfield says.

"This agreement encourages more of this kind of work, sets firm targets and shows farmers how we will work with them to achieve these goals."

Barry Harris, Chairman of Fonterra's Sustainability Leadership Team, says the partnership will provide further support to farmers in target areas.

"Between Environment Bay of Plenty's team of officers, Fonterra's own team of Sustainable Dairying Specialists, and the local province of Federated Farmers, our Bay of Plenty farmers will have access to the resources what resources and advice they need to achieve the regional Clean Streams Accord targets.

"Ongoing results will be measured through the annual farm dairy assessment, and I challenge the region to keep up the progress, aim high and set a standard that other regions can follow," Mr Harris says.

Bay of Plenty Federated Farmers President, Alan Law, says farmers have just as much interest in protecting the region's waterways as the local community.

"Farmers, like everyone else, use and value local waterways for recreational purposes. It's also part of their natural capital - something which must be protected for the next generation of farmers," Mr Law says.

The CSA regional action plan was signed today at the McFetridge Farm near the Kaimai Ranges, where Environment Bay of Plenty recently helped develop a riparian planting plan.

Ends


Background

About the Clean Streams Accord

The Dairying and Clean Streams Accord is a national agreement between the Ministries of Agriculture and Forestry and for the Environment, Fonterra and Local Government New Zealand. Signed in May 2003, its aim is to achieve clean, healthy water - including streams, rivers, lakes groundwater and wetlands - in dairying areas.

About Environment Bay of Plenty

Environment Bay of Plenty is the regional council for the Bay of Plenty region.

Our mission is to work with our communities for a better environment. Me mahi ngatahi tatau katoa, e ora rawa atu ai to tatou taiao.

Environment Bay of Plenty's work guides and supports the sustainable development of the Bay of Plenty. We want to make sure our region grows and develops in a way that keeps its values safe for future generations.

A major focus of our work involves looking after the environment. We manage the effects of people's use of freshwater, land, air and coastal water. However, we also have a broader responsibility with others for the economic, social and cultural well-being of the regional community.

About Fonterra

* Fonterra is the world's largest dairy exporter and the fifth largest dairy company in the world, with annual turnover of NZ$14 billion.

* As New Zealand's largest and truly multinational business, Fonterra trades in 140 countries.

* Our portfolio includes dairy ingredients, liquid and powdered milks, cultured foods and yoghurts, butter, cheese and specialty foodservices products.

* Our brands include Anchor, Anlene, Anmum, Fresh n' Fruity, Mainland, Peters & Brownes, Tip Top, Chesdale and Bega.

ENDS

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