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Fonterra Environmental Initiatives

Fonterra Environmental Initiatives To Be Discussed At Further Round Of Shareholder Consultation

The Fonterra Board today confirmed its commitment to progress the environmental and animal welfare initiatives currently before its shareholder farmers, and announced an extended timetable to ensure full and informed farmer feedback on those initiatives.

Chairman Henry van der Heyden said there no doubt that the initiatives were critical to the company's future success, but there had been a lot of misinformation circulated about them.

"Our farmers need the opportunity to gain a clear understanding of what is proposed," he said.

"We want to take farmers with us on these important initiatives, and that means taking more time to discuss the issues properly.

"In particular, farmers need time to focus on the details of the Assessment Proposal. This is the way farmers will be measured against their progress towards environmental and animal welfare performance targets. As such it is the key initiative and the one that affects farmers most directly."

The new consultation timetable will allow for further discussion on the environmental and animal welfare initiatives at the half-year round of meetings in March 2003, and will extend the time for written submissions.

Mr van der Heyden said that Fonterra is committed to the direction and principles encompassed in the Clean Streams Accord.

"Achieving a marked improvement in environmental standards is very important to Fonterra's business growth, internationally and domestically," he said.

"Fonterra and the New Zealand dairy industry currently have a clean, green image. This is coming under greater scrutiny from customers, consumers and regulators.

"As Fonterra moves to increase its presence in high value consumer and ingredients markets that scrutiny will only intensify.

"We need to aspire to high environmental standards in order to safeguard our future prosperity," he concluded.

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