Industry Partnership - Fonterra on-ground incentives program
Fonterra is the world’s largest diversified milk processing company and one of the world’s top producers of dairy nutrition for export, including milk, powder, cheese and butter. Fonterra has substantial interests within the NRM North region. The on-ground incentives program is offered dto Fonterra milk suppliers to continuously improve the way dairy farms operate through a five thousand dollar contribution per dairy farm. NRM North partnered in this initiative through provision of additional funds to dairy farms to undertake on-ground NRM work.
THE BIG PICTURE
With the expansion of irrigation infrastructure and the proposed expansion of the dairy industry within the region, it is important NRM North actively engages with the dairy industry to improve farming practices. Learning from the mistakes made in New Zealand, it is important NRM activities are undertaken on-farm to minimise impacts and maximise returns for farmers. If we can assist in improving the dairy industry to make it more sustainable, we can positively contribute to one of the major industries in the NRM North region.
WHY THIS ACTIVITY IS IMPORTANT
It is a little investment that reaps big rewards and assures that NRM North is working with dairy farms to help create a better environment and continuously improve environmental practices of the industry. Partnering with Fonterra in this initiative means NRM North can utilise the company’s existing network and relationships with its producers to engage farmers that may not have previously been engaged with NRM North.
WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED
In the third year of this program, there is still a focus on ‘nutrient management’, as this is a significant cost to producers and can impact the environment. A large number of activities have included developing nutrient management plans, improving systems to broaden the area of effluent spread on pastures and exclusion of stock from riparian and remnant vegetation. The benefits of these activities include reduced costs for landholders, less wasted fertilisers, enhanced native habitat, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, healthier soils and water quality improvements.
Working closely with industry is an effective way of engaging with landholders that don’t normally engage with NRM North. When working with a large multi-national company it is the local level relationships that have ensured this initiative has been successful in implementing a large number of NRM activities on-farm.