DCD decision practical but affected Farmers’ nitrate targets
24 January 2013
DCD decision practical but affected Farmers’ nitrate targets need review
The Fonterra Shareholders’ Council, which represents the Co-operative’s 10,500 Farmer Shareholders, said it was important for Regional Councils to work closely with affected Farmers and re-examine nitrate level targets following the announcement by Ravensdown and Ballance to suspend the sale and use of Dicyandiamide (DCD) treatment on farm.
The decision was prompted after minimal levels of the nitrate inhibiter were found in dairy product samples and while its presence poses no health risk the suspension of its use is seen by all parties as a pragmatic, proactive move.
Shareholders’ Council Chairman, Ian Brown: “Fonterra Farmers and Regional Councils have been working hard to develop plans for reducing nitrate levels and greenhouse gas emissions on farm and DCD was identified as an efficient way of achieving these.
“The outcome is disappointing for all stakeholders and will affect the ability of around 400 farmers to meet the nitrate level targets which were set based on the ongoing use of DCD - targets they have been working hard to meet.
“We are confident that Regional Councils and all stakeholders will continue to work closely with Fonterra and our affected Farmers in order to review the targets.”
ABOUT THE FONTERRA SHAREHOLDERS’ COUNCIL
The Fonterra Shareholders’ Council represents the interests of Fonterra farmers to the Board of the co-operative and plays an active role in monitoring and assessing the governance and performance of Fonterra. There are 35 Councillors who are all shareholders elected by their fellow farmers in wards across New Zealand.