Greenpeace activists block a shipment of palm kernel animal feed from Indonesia, entering Tauranga Port and destined for Fonterra dairy farms. They are calling on John Key to halt imports of the product due to its impact on climate change and address intensive dairy farming in New Zealand. XX activists have boarded the East Ambition, several kilometers from Tauranga port, and have locked themselves to the vessel and its cargo cranes to prevent the ship unloading when it berths.
The East Ambition, from Indonesia, was boarded at 0900 today by
14 activists who chained themselves to the ship and its cargo
cranes. Police used a massive crane and heavy cutting equipment to
remove the activists 14 hours after they boarded the 170 metre ship
carrying palm kernel expeller (PKE) destined for Fonterra dairy
One of the activists, Jo McVeagh, said the production and use of
palm kernel animal feed was having a major impact on climate
"This ship's cargo has contributed up to 364,000 tonnes of
carbon emissions. That's the same as the emissions from 127,000
cars over a year (1). John Key hasn't taken steps to stop this
climate crime which is why we stopped the shipment today."
Greenpeace New Zealand climate campaigner Simon Boxer said the
purpose of the action was to highlight how Fonterra's activities
were impacting the climate, rainforests indigenous peoples overseas
and endangered species.
"John Key's advisors need to do their homework; palm kernel
animal feed directly contributes to rainforest destruction in
Indonesia and Malaysia," said Boxer.
"Fonterra is New Zealand's biggest greenhouse gas emitter and is
increasing the country's emissions and contributing to the global
problem due to its intensification of dairy farming in this
country. Fonterra must change its intensive farming practices which
forces farmers to provide more and more milk at the expense of the
climate and the environment."
PKE is used as a supplementary feed for New Zealand's increasing
dairy herd. Last year New Zealand imported 1.1 million tonnes of
the product, valued at around $300 million, which was one quarter
of the world's production.
Fonterra's half-owned subsidiary, RD1, has a joint venture with
Wilmar International (2), which is the world's largest trader of
palm oil's and kernel. It has a documented reputation for
rainforest destruction, illegal burning and creating social
conflicts over community lands. (3)
Last week the World Bank froze new funding to Wilmar
International and all other palm companies pending a review into
environmental and social sustainability practices of the
"Fonterra can no longer claim ignorance of what Wilmar and the
palm industry is doing to supply palm based animal feed to New
Zealand and has no choice but to stop all imports immediately,"
Greenpeace is also calling on the Indonesian Government to
implement an immediate moratorium on forest and peatland
destruction for the sake of climate stability, biodiversity and to
protect the livelihoods of forest dependent peoples.
Other contacts: Simon Boxer, Greenpeace New Zealand climate campaigner, 021 905 579
Suzette Jackson, Greenpeace New Zealand communications manager, 021 614899
VVPR info: Phil Crawford, Greenpeace New Zealand communications and media, 021 22 99 594
(1) Based on average car driving 14,000 km per year (http://labelling.fuelsaver.govt.nz) and the average car emitting 203.8g CO2/km in 2009 (Press release by The Minister for Transport, 28 August, 2009) giving an average annual emissions of 2.853 tonnes of CO2/year.
(2) RD1 Press release, June 2008.
(3) A 2007 report by Friends of the Earth Netherlands, Kontak Rakyat Borneo and Lembaga Gemawan exposed Wilmar’s involvement in rainforest destruction, in ignoring national laws and the rights of communities and in forest fires in Sambas District, Kalimantan.