Farm Group Herald Dairy Sustainability Credentials21 February 2013
NEW ZEALAND – Federated Farmers of New Zealand (FFNZ) are confident that sustainability goals set out in the sustainable dairy water accord will be achieved by the end of the 2013/14 season.
Currently, 90 per cent of dairy cattle have been excluded from watercourses and wetlands are benefitting from 100 per cent cattle exclusion as part of the accord.
“We are close to 100 per cent stock exclusion and I am proud of the progress dairy farmers have made,” said FFNZ Dairy Chairperson, Willy Leferink.
“The Sustainable Dairying Water Accord (DWA) picks up on this fantastic achievement while bringing into account the irrigation and fertiliser sectors too. Federated Farmers is backing the fantastic work put in for farmers and the industry by DairyNZ; our industry good body."
Backed by dairy giant Fonterra, the DWA builds on the progress of the Dairying and Clean Streams Accord (DCSA) which has intoduced nutrient budgets on 99 per cent of farms and increased the number of on-farm effluent treatment facilities to 73 per cent.
“Clearly, there’s more work to do – particularly on effluent management which is behind where we need it to be. But it’s important to give credit to Fonterra farmers for the work already done,” saaid Fonterra Co-operative Affairs Managing Director Todd Muller.
“Our farmers have invested millions of dollars over the past nine years on environmental improvements. A new effluent system alone can cost up to $150,000. Clearly this is a huge commitment, but our farmers have stumped up because they know it’s important.
Mr Muller has welcomed the Sustainable Dairy Water Accord and added that Fonterra will continue to work with producers to meet sutainability targets.
Willy Leferink concluded by stating the importance of improvements outside of farming: “Perhaps one danger we have is creating the impression it is all down to dairy. It isn’t. We need councils to step up and improve wastewater plants struggling to meet the demands of 1.6 million households and almost 500,000 businesses."
“Better water is a community team effort. No one can do it individually but today, with the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord, dairy has firmly put its arm up to bepart of the solution,” Mr Leferink concluded.