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Clean Streams Accord halfway - positive change

Media Release
26 February 2008


Clean Streams Accord halfway point shows positive behaviour change from farmers

“We are halfway through the Clean Streams Accord, and dairy farmers are demonstrating that on-farm environmental management is firmly on their agendas, and this is being matched by a significant improvement in performance from the majority of our suppliers,” said Chairman of Fonterra’s Sustainability Leadership Team, Barry Harris.

The latest results against the Dairying and Clean Streams Accord for the 2006/07 season were announced by Minister for the Environment, Trevor Mallard, at Fonterra’s headquarters this morning.

Mr Harris said that 83 per cent of rivers, lakes and streams have been fenced off by farmers to exclude dairy cattle and 97 percent of regular race crossing points now have bridges or culverts.

“This puts us well ahead on both of these targets for the 2006/07 season.”

“We have also seen a considerable improvement in the management of nutrients on-farm, with 97 per cent of our suppliers now having adopted a nutrient budget. While this falls short of our 100 per cent target, it is a positive step in reducing the environmental impact of fertiliser on-farm.”

In regions where councils have identified regionally significant wetlands, the 2007 Accord target has also been met.

Mr Harris said that dairy effluent compliance was still the single largest challenge in the Accord for farmers and the industry. While significant non-compliance fell to 7 per cent this year, it still did not meet the Accord partners’ commitment.

“It is disappointing to note that there are still a small minority of farmers who are not complying with regional council requirements. It will continue to be the greatest focus for both regional councils and our Sustainable Dairying team in the upcoming season.”

Mr Harris added that the Accord had gained a lot of momentum since it was first introduced, through raising environmental consciousness within the supplier base and acting as a catalyst for targeted programmes of action from the dairy industry.

“This momentum will only gather more pace as we introduce more education and advisory initiatives to ensure the adoption best practice environmental management on-farm.”

“Farmers are people of the land and they understand the importance of a sustainable future. Our dairy industry depends upon access to ‘natural capital’such as water and land and it is therefore in our best interests to protect these resources to ensure a long-term, prosperous future for our industry, rural communities and New Zealand as a whole.”

ENDS

Note

The Dairying and Clean Streams Accord, introduced in 2003, is a partnership between Fonterra, Ministry for the Environment, Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry and Local Government New Zealand to improve rural water quality in dairy catchments.

The Accord sets our five targets for farmers to meet by 2007 and 2012.

1. Dairy cattle to be excluded from 50 per cent of streams, rives and lakes by 2007, rising to 90 per cent by 2012.
2. Fifty per cent of regular crossing points to have bridges or culverts by 2007, rising to 90 per cent by 2012.
3. One hundred per cent of dairy farm effluent discharges to comply with resource consents and regional plans immediately.
4. One hundred per cent of dairy farms to have in place system to manage nutrient inputs and outputs by 2007.
5. Fifty per cent of regionally significant wetlands to be fenced by 2005, rising to 90 per cent by 2007

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