Fonterra Shareholders’ Council Chair Simon Couper is supportive of the Co-operative’s plans to work with suppliers to ensure that they comply with the requirements of the Clean Streams Accord.
Couper said it was important for all Fonterra farmers to act as champions of the company and of dairy farming in everything they do and taking the lead on sustainability issues was a great start.
“Sustainability is one of the most important issues facing our Co-operative and it is vital that Fonterra takes the lead in front-footing these issues and puts in place measures that promote sustainability.
“A large number of farmers are either close to completing their fencing or have plans in place and now is the time to ramp up those efforts and show New Zealand we are serious about sustainable farming.”
Next season Fonterra will introduce a change to its terms and conditions of supply that support the Co-op’s efforts to contribute to the water quality in dairying areas.
“Obviously some of our farmers have more work to do than others and it is important they realise there is now a clear standard in place, said Couper.
“To aid in the process it is vital they continue to receive the help and support of their Co-op and the Shareholders’ Council aims to see this happens. We have also set up a Sustainability Committee to work with Fonterra and other parties to ensure farmers’ voices are heard when sustainability targets are set.”
Couper said it was important to recognise the efforts and increased engagement of farmers with regard to sustainability.
“Fonterra farmers have demonstrated a commitment to the environment in the eight years since the Clean Streams Accord was signed and they understand that sustainability is not a substitute to profit or our farming systems but an added advantage.
“Sustainability carries great weight with New Zealanders and the international companies who buy our products and our shareholders should be proud to lead the way.”