Organic Sector Wants Fonterra To Step Up To New Opportunity
Media release 21 April 2013 For immediate release
Organic Sector Wants Fonterra To Step Up To New Opportunities
The chair of Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ), Brendan Hoare, has questions for Fonterra regarding its on-again, off-again treatment of its organic milk suppliers.
“OANZ knows that the demand for organic dairy products, especially in Asia and other emerging economies, is very strong”, said Mr Hoare. “Any hypothetical drop in European demand can easily be made up – or exceeded – there.”
“The organic sector as a whole is worried that Fonterra is in danger of losing a golden opportunity to not only be the Number One milk company in the world, but also the Number One organic dairy company in the world. We know it can do better than it is currently doing, and we're offering whatever support we can provide in helping it achieve goals which are good for New Zealand as well as the company.”
Mr Hoare's views are seconded by Glenn Mead, the Chair of the Organic Dairy and Pastoral Group, which includes most of the organic dairy and pastoral farmers in New Zealand.
“We're pleased that Fonterra has turned its organic business around and that many farmers have had their organic contracts with Fonterra continued,” said Mr Mead, “but disappointed for those who haven’t, especially in Northland. We do have concerns about the signals that Fonterra's previous treatment of its organic suppliers have sent to overseas markets, and to other farmers thinking of going organic.”
“Converting a farm to the required certified organic system and standards takes a minimum of three years. Potential suppliers must see secure contracts for organic milk in place with companies such as Fonterra to make the organic conversion process worthwhile. This will be part of on-going discussions between the ODPG and Fonterra.”