Food and farming

These things are fundamental to who we are, what we do and how New Zealand makes its way in the world. But there are big problems with the way we’re farming. The industrial farming model prevalent in New Zealand is damaging our land, water, climate and farmers.

New Zealand farming made a name for itself based on two simple five-letter words – clean and green - with our products setting us apart in shopping trolleys and baskets across the globe. But somewhere along the way we lost our bearings.  

Family farms got snapped up and subsumed into industrial-scale dairying operations. We began clear-felling forests to make way for industrial dairy farms, piling fertilizers onto the land; squeezing too many cows onto every hectare, and feeding them supplementary feed from destroyed Indonesian rainforests. All this to sell faceless milk powder on volatile global commodity markets.

This industrial, high input model has cost our rivers (two thirds are already at times too polluted to swim in safely) our water (New Zealand now has the highest rates of waterborne gastro disease in the developed world), our climate (agriculture emissions make up half New Zealand’s emissions and continue to rise) and our farmers. New Zealand dairy farmers are collectively burdened with $38 billion worth of debt, putting unimaginable pressure on individuals, families and communities.

And things are set to get worse, with large-scale irrigation schemes planned across the country. People don’t necessarily make the link between irrigation and industrial farming. But the one leads directly to the other.  The reason big irrigation companies want to take water from our rivers is to enable more industrial agriculture (namely dairying) where it wouldn’t otherwise have occurred. Irrigation schemes are a golden ticket to more dairying and more water pollution.
 
The industrial dairying model is a failed experiment. Change is needed if New Zealand farming and farmers are to prosper again. We need to make New Zealand farming something we can be proud of again.

The latest updates

 

16 (Adorable) Reasons to Protect Canada’s Boreal Forest

Blog entry by Ryan Schleeter | May 19, 2017

Canada's boreal forest is home to stunning landscapes and a spectacular array of wildlife. But corporate logging giant Resolute Forest Products wants to intimidate and silence people like you fighting to protect forests. Rather than...

What’s the Story Behind Our Disappearing Act? Resolute Forest Products

Blog entry by Molly Dorozenski | May 17, 2017

This might be the biggest crisis Greenpeace has ever faced. A massive Canadian logging company, Resolute Forest Products , is trying to silence Greenpeace with baseless, multi-million dollar lawsuits. So what if Greenpeace disappeared...

Dairy bosses plot their own demise

Blog entry by Phil Vine | May 12, 2017

You've got to feel sorry for the dairy leadership. Well you do. They're in mourning. Grief is the only way to explain the strange and conflicting messages coming out of DairyNZ and the Federated Farmers over the last six months. Could...

The beauty of West Africa’s ocean is overwhelming

Blog entry by Pavel Klinckhamers | May 10, 2017

Sailing across the nutrient rich waters of the West African Atlantic Ocean these past two months, I have been lucky enough to see an incredible array of wildlife. Whales, dolphins and pelicans, I have met them all in this trip. And I...

6 ways corporate lawsuits kill free speech (and how to fight back!)

Blog entry by Molly Dorozenski | May 9, 2017

Free speech is a right. So how can a corporation possibly stop you from speaking out? Using a legal tactic called a SLAPP , corporations like the massive Canadian logging company, Resolute Forest Products, are attempting to crack down...

Shopping doesn’t make us happy

Blog entry by Frances Lo | May 8, 2017

Do your clothes make you happy? Or, after the excitement of the shopping spree fades, does your new stuff tend to lose its in-store magic by the time it’s reached your wardrobe?   A new survey of international buying habits has...

Nuclear power and the collapse of society

Blog entry by Rex Weyler | May 5, 2017

On March 1 1954, on Bikini Atoll, in the Marshall Islands, the US military detonated the world’s first lithium-deuteride hydrogen bomb, a thousand times more powerful than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs. The radiation blew downwind,...

Saving Dvinsky Forest: If companies don't act, customers will

Blog entry by Alexey Yaroshenko | May 5, 2017

Speaking truth to corporations has been the backbone of Greenpeace’s global forest campaign for over two decades. Putting pressure on companies buying products from forest destruction has successfully helped protect the Great Bear...

A World Without Greenpeace? How One Corporation Is Attacking Your Right to Speak for...

Blog entry by Molly Dorozenski | May 5, 2017

Your right to speak out is being threatened right now in a dizzying variety of ways, not only by oppressive governments around the world, but also by underhanded corporations who want to suppress speech through expensive lawsuits. ...

Major palm oil company promises to protect forests

Blog entry by Annisa Rahmawati | April 28, 2017

There's been a major development in our campaign to protect Indonesia's forests. IOI, one of the largest palm oil traders in the world, has just made a significant commitment to protect rainforests . If put into practice, this...

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