New Zealand Fonterra Targets 30% Cut In On-Farm Emissions By 2030

By Reuters
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New Zealand Fonterra Targets 30% Cut In On-Farm Emissions By 2030

New Zealand’s Fonterra Co-Operative Group wants its nearly 8,500 farms to reduce emissions by 30% by 2030, the world’s largest dairy exporter said.

New Zealand, home to five million people, has about 10 million cattle and 26 million sheep and nearly half its total greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, mainly methane.

Fonterra said that through improving farm practices, novel technologies and offsetting emissions by planting it expected to reduce emissions by about 22%.

A further 8% reduction from a 2018 baseline is expected to come from not having to take into account, by 2030, emissions created by land being converted into dairy farms early this century, the company said.

“There’s no one solution to reducing on-farm emissions. It will require a combination of sharing best farming practices and technology to reduce emissions – it’s both our biggest opportunity and our biggest challenge,” Fonterra chairman Peter McBride said in a statement.


The target was expected to impact each farm differently, he said.

No Penalties Or Premiums

Fonterra director of sustainability Charlotte Rutherford said in a media briefing said there would be no penalties for farmers who did not reduce emissions or premiums for those that do.

The government has also introduced a plan to tax farm methane emissions from the end of 2025 as it tries to reduce the impact on global warming.

New Zealand is one of the first countries to announce it will price agricultural emissions, but the government faced criticism from parts of the farming community, which is concerned about the cost.


With the Labour party now out of power, the introduction of the tax is expected to be pushed back by the new government.

Rutherford said the decision to introduce the target was being driven by a number of factors including demand for Fonterra to reduce their emissions by markets and their customers, and expectations that banks would increasingly see it as important.

Jennifer Chappell, chief executive at Nestlé New Zealand, which is a major buyer of Fonterra products, said the plan sends a positive signal to New Zealand’s dairy industry and supports Nestlé’s ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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