Fonterra misleading New Zealand on palm kernel dairy feed
16 September 2009 Greenpeace is refuting Fonterra’s claims that the multi-national has no responsibility for the shipment of PKE currently offshore in Tauranga.
Greenpeace activists boarded the ship this morning to draw attention to the climate impacts of palm kernel production. Twelve activists are still locked onto the vessel, with two arrests being made.
“It’s disingenuous for Fonterra to say this shipment is “not theirs”, when it’s headed for Fonterra’s nationwide dairy herd. That’s why we have targeted today’s PKE shipment,” said Greenpeace climate campaigner Simon Boxer.
“For the last weeks all Fonterra has done is mislead the New Zealand public. It has not done its homework on the supply of palm based animal feed and has been caught out in its involvement in rainforest destruction. Greenwashing its way out of this will not work and the only option left is for Fonterra to stop the imports.” (See attached briefing for factual rebuttal).
A quarter of the world’s production of Palm Kernel Expeller (PKE) animal feed, an economic product (1) of the Indonesian and Malaysian palm industry, was imported into New Zealand last year (2) with the majority going to feed dairy cows. Around 95 per cent of all New Zealand dairy farms are shareholders within Fonterra.
“It’s a scandal that Fonterra is feeding its dairy cows a product that is directly contributing to the destruction of the world’s remaining rainforests and to increased climate change,” said Boxer.
Today, RD1, which is a half-owned subsidiary of Fonterra, claimed Greenpeace’s actions are damaging New Zealand’s overseas reputation.
“It is Fonterra who are putting New Zealand’s clean, green image at risk by its involvement in tropical rainforest and peatland destruction which comes at a huge cost to the climate.
“Imports for palm based animal feed in 2008 would have contributed up to 20 times New Zealand’s domestic air travel emissions. It is time for Fonterra to come clean on its climate crime and for John Key to put an end to the country’s involvement in this destructive and unnecessary trade.”
For more information
Notes to editor: (1) Malaysian Palm Oil Board, “PKC is also an important product from the oil palm industry that generate substantial export earnings for Malaysia, which was approximately RM 337.9 million in 2003.” (141,240 million NZD).
Palm Kernel Cake Marketing: Constraints and Prospects. Ahmad Borhan A, Nordin*; R Venugopal*; Nasir Amiruddin* and Mohd Arif Simeh*
NOTE: Malaysian industry calls Palm Kernel Expeller, Palm Kernel Cake. (2) 2008 global exports total 4.7 million tons and imports by New Zealand total 1.1 million. USDA/FAS/OGA/ISAD/Oilseeds and Products.