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

 

How much longer can we take our water for granted?

Blog entry by Amanda Larsson | June 28, 2017

The first message I sent home from New Zealand was about tap water. Sounds weird. True story. Having spent the previous five years drinking London water (you know, the kind of hard water that means endless scrubbing to get crusty...

Sick of Too Many Cows

Publication | June 28, 2017 at 11:14

This Greenpeace report examines the potential connections between livestock farming, water pollution and public health.

Battle of the parodies - Fonterra answers Greenpeace video spoof with parody of its own

Blog entry by Phil Vine | June 15, 2017

“OMG - Dairy Bosses discover climate change - 20 years too late” Hot on the heels of Greenpeace’s parody video about Pure Dairy, the industry leadership has countered with a parody of its own. The Dairy Action plan 2017-2018, ...

Pure Dairy. Pure Fiction - A Parody

Blog entry by Nick Young | June 13, 2017

How Greenpeace is using satire to call out NZ Dairy Bosses on their outrageous billboard. You can't miss it. Even at night. The Fonterra billboard bores down through your windscreen with sunny insistence. It strikes you the moment...

School bullying - woeful opportunism by dairy leadership

Blog entry by Phil Vine | June 12, 2017

When farming organisations start using children as human shields you know they’ve reached a new level of desperation. I think we might have arrived at despo-con3.   Achieved when DairyNZ decided to employ school kids as a new line of...

Annual Impact Report 2016

Publication | June 1, 2017 at 12:16

Click to read or download the PDF below.

After decades of lawlessness, could the seafood industry finally be ready for change?

Blog entry by Graham Forbes | May 30, 2017

Are we on the cusp of changing the destructive seafood industry forever? For years, the seafood industry has profited from forced labour, illegal fishing,  ocean destruction and the needless slaughter of marine life. Tuna...

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...

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