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Unsustainable PKE should not be imported into NZ

3 October 2016

Unsustainable PKE should not be imported into NZ


More New Zealand farmers should follow Landcorp’s lead and wind up their use of Palm Kernel Expeller (PKE) as animal feed, the Green Party said today.

The call follows the Ministry of Primary Industry’s (MPI) refusal to disclose the name of the importer of a shipment of PKE on board a ship anchored off the port of Tauranga due to biosecurity concerns.

“MPI needs to come clean on who the importers of the PKE shipment are and what negotiations they’ve had, so it can be determined whether it came from an unsustainable source, as appears likely,” said Green Party biosecurity spokesperson Steffan Browning.

“The biosecurity risks alone should be a good enough reason to turn the ship around. It’s also being reported that the shipment was exported from ports in Northern Sumatra, which have previously been linked with exports of unsustainable PKE.

“New Zealand imported a record 1.95 million tonnes of PKE in the year to June 2015.

“Landcorp has agreed to phase out using unsustainable PKE. Fonterra recently agreed to set a new standard for its sourcing of PKE. It’s time that Fonterra farmers and other agribusinesses stopped using PKE – the major contributor to rainforest destruction in South East Asia.

“Thousands of hectares of Indonesian rainforest are going up in smoke to make way for palm oil and pulp plantations which are used to grow PKE, destroying the habitat of iconic species such as the orangutan.

“As well as the ecological devastation that the plantations are causing, there are also humanitarian and health concerns from air pollution with at least one child dying from the soot of forest and peat fires clogging up their lungs. Burning the forest and peat lands is also contributing to runaway climate change.

“In just three short weeks the CO2 emissions from rainforest fires exceeded the total annual emissions for Germany.

“New Zealand does not need to import unsustainable PKE; best practice dairy production does not use PKE, including our best value markets such as the organic sector,” said Mr Browning.

ends

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