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Fonterra Confirms Environmental Initiatives

Fonterra Confirms Environmental Initiatives

Fonterra Co-operative Group has confirmed it will assess all its suppliers against a number of environmental and animal welfare measures in the 2003/04 season, and on Monday, 26 May, will sign the Dairying and Clean Streams Accord with Government Ministers and Regional Councils.

Fonterra Chairman, Henry van der Heyden, said the co-operative's decision to go ahead with two key environmental initiatives would strengthen Fonterra's international reputation for high environmental standards and values.

"I'm pleased that after a great deal of consultation the Fonterra Board has put a stake in the ground and confirmed these two key initiatives. I'm also pleased that the Environmental Assessment Proposal has the support of the Shareholders' Council"

Mr van der Heyden said that after years of considerable investment and hard work Fonterra's manufacturing plants were performing excellently on environmental measures.

"The same can be said of many of our suppliers' farms," he said. "But we need to ensure that all our suppliers are working towards clear environmental goals, and that we are able to demonstrate that progress to customers and the world.

The Environmental and Animal Welfare Assessment will assess all suppliers as part of their annual farm dairy assessment. In the 2003/04 season this will be an information gathering exercise only.

Mr van der Heyden said that following consultation with suppliers it was agreed that there would be no change to the Terms and Conditions of Supply (TCOS) at this stage. "But, there will be a review in twelve months time, and the assessment will be included in the TCOS in the future.

"The Dairying and Clean Streams Accord, to be signed on Monday, is a high-level statement of intent that publicly recognises our working relationship with the other organisations and our agreement to work together to achieve clean, healthy water within dairying areas."

Mr van der Heyden said that the Accord is concerned only with water quality.

"It gives us a direction of travel and indicates that we are serious about the issues. Over the coming months we will be working with individual Regional Councils to develop regional action plans specific to their areas.

"I am confident that with these two initiatives, in combination with the already successful Market Focused programme on farms and the ongoing investment in our manufacturing plants, we have the platform to safeguard Fonterra's clean, green image and, with it, a key ingredient in our future prosperity," he concluded.

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