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Don't kill the golden goose, Fonterra

Don't kill the golden goose, Fonterra

Green Party Co-Leader Russel Norman has welcomed figures announced today showing boosted export success for Fonterra, but warns the company needs drastic change to protect New Zealand's and the company's long-term future.

"Sadly, success of industrial dairying has come at the expense of our grandchildren," Dr Norman said. "Fonterra has some great attributes, for example as a New-Zealand-owned business leader and producer co-operative, but protecting our clean and green image is not one of them.

"In February I released a State of the Environment Report chapter - which the Government was trying to keep secret - that pointed to industrial dairy as the largest cause of environmental decline in the country. The report said New Zealand could gain significantly from the rise of green consumerism but if our environmental performance continued to decline then our economy was in danger.

"Former Environment Minister Marian Hobbs has said our clean green image could be worth billions."

After five years of an ineffective 'Clean Streams Accord', it was time for Fonterra to 'show some spine' and tell their milk tankers not to stop at farms which illegally-polluted rivers and streams. "Regional councils are scrambling to save waterways as they become less and less safe to swim in. Today's Fonterra statement raves about the huge boost dairying gives 'regions like Southland' but a recent Environment Southland statement in that council's dairy publication says 8 percent of farms have `significant non-compliance with effluent management rules'."

Neighbouring Otago Regional Council is having similar problems. Otago Regional Councillor Duncan Butcher was quoted as saying last month that "money, education and consultation with industry have failed to achieve the environmental outcomes the council and community desire of dairy farms".

Said Dr Norman: "This is the best possible time, when there's money available, for Fonterra to think about future generations, not just the bottom line this financial year."


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