5 March 2008
Fonterra has joined forces with the New Zealand Farm Environment Award Trust (NZFEA) to promote environmentally sustainable farming practices.
Announcing the formation of the partnership, NZFEA Trust chairman Jim Cotman says the Trust was delighted to have New Zealand’s largest company join an industry partnership programme that is designed to encourage farming practices that are both profitable and environmentally sustainable.
“The main plank of this programme is to ensure key management information gets through to farmers and also to demonstrate to urban New Zealanders and overseas consumers that New Zealand farmers are sincere about caring for the environment.”
Mr Cotman says this will be achieved by “leveraging off” the highly successful Ballance Farm Environment Awards. These awards highlight the fact that good environmental management makes good business sense.
“They also prove that the majority of farmers want to farm in a sustainable manner without having regulations enforced upon them.”
The new partnership with Fonterra will enable the NZFEA Trust to promote the good farm practices demonstrated by entrants into the Ballance Farm Environment Awards.
Mr Cotman says Fonterra has clearly been promoting the sustainability message for some time, but its new ties with the Trust “give the company another avenue to get this message across”.
Fonterra approached the NZFEA Trust about forming a partnership last year, and news of the partnership comes in the footsteps of similar arrangements with key industry organisations, MAF and DairyNZ.
“Its good to see that these organisations recognise the credibility, professionalism and independence of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards programme,” says Mr Cotman.
“And its win-win for the Trust because it will assist with the transfer of information to farmers through Fonterra’s extensive communication network. That will help us to show that when it comes to environmental sustainability, New Zealand farmers are up there with the best.”
The Ballance Farm Environment Awards currently run in eight regions throughout the country. In future the NZFEA Trust plans to extend the awards programme to more regions while also forming partnerships with other key industry organisations.
But Mr Cotman is quick to point out that these partnerships are not sponsorships. “We already have a number of excellent, long-standing sponsors who truly value their association with the awards. The partnerships with industry organisations simply add another dimension to the ongoing success of the awards programme.”