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Heading In Right Direction With Sustainability

15 December 2011

NEW ZEALAND - Clean Streams Accord snapshot results show the Co-operative's 10,500 farmers are heading in the right direction with sustainability.

Fonterra today said the 2010/11 Clean Streams Accord snapshot results show the Co-operative's 10,500 farmers are heading in the right direction with sustainability, but there is more work to be done.

Fonterra's General Manager Milk Supply Steve Murphy says the snapshot results were mixed.

"Overall, it highlights that a lot of progress has been made by farmers but, ultimately, we recognise that there is still more that needs to be done".

"It's pleasing to see the improved effluent compliance results which we believe have been helped by our Every Farm Every Year programme."

Every Farm Every Year, rolled out from August 2010, has made encouraging progress in effluent management in its first year.

"We expected a farm-by-farm check would identify the full extent of compliance weaknesses, such as effluent storage, and enable these to be addressed. We now need to build on this work and support our shareholders to achieve compliance 365 days a year," Mr Murphy says.

Under Every Farm Every Year, every farm supplying Fonterra has its effluent infrastructure checked by an independent assessor to determine if it is compliant, non-compliant or at risk of non-compliance. In its first year, 2900 farms were referred to Fonterra's Sustainable Dairying Advisor team, 2,300 one-on-one visits to farms were completed and 1,360 farms had effluent improvement plans developed. Of those, 720 were completed. The Accord results show 56 critical compliance issues were resolved within 24 hours.

Mr Murphy said shareholders had responded well to the programme and were proactively asking for advice to ensure their effluent systems were adequate. The Every Farm Every Year programme had also been well received by regional councils as part of a combined effort to reduce non-compliance rates.

"What we've learnt in the first year is that farmers respond well to support, so we expect to make further progress in areas like Northland and Southland where the compliance results are not satisfactory."

Mr Murphy said the MAF survey on stock exclusions from waterways, released at the same time as the Clean Streams snapshot, had also identified steady progress, as well as the need for more work to be done.

"Stock exclusion makes an important contribution to the health of waterways. Like Every Farm Every Year, we are also taking the lead here, requiring our suppliers to have remaining waterways fenced off by the end of 2013 at the latest. This will be a condition of supply."

TheCattleSite News Desk



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