Greenpeace stops palm kernel shipment coming into Tauranga

Press release - September 16, 2009
Greenpeace activists have blocked 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.

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. 14 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 activity follows an expose three weeks ago in the Sunday Star Times, which implicated Fonterra in rainforest destruction.

The 12 activists who have boarded the East Ambition, several kilometers from Tauranga port, have locked themselves to the vessel, the anchor chain and its four cargo cranes to prevent the ship unloading. News footage shows them holding banners which read "Fonterra Climate Crime."

"Fonterra's involvement in rainforest destruction and the massive climate impact this causes is criminal," said Jo McVeagh an activist locked to one of the cranes.

"This ship's cargo has contributed to the release of up to 364,000 tonnes of carbon emissions (1). That's the same as the emissions from 127,000 cars over a year (2). Fonterra and John Key have taken no steps to stop this climate crime which is why we're taking action today."

Greenpeace New Zealand climate campaigner Simon Boxer said millions of hectares of Indonesian and Malaysian rainforest are being destroyed to grow palm.

"Currently PKE is a nasty product every step of the way. New Zealand's imports of 1.1million tonnes of palm kernel animal feed in 2008 contributed to the release of up to 20 million tonnes of greenhouse emissions in the process (3). It's then used as a supplementary feed for New Zealand's increasing intensive dairy sector, which further increases emissions."

"Over the last weeks Fonterra has done nothing but mislead New Zealand about its links to rainforest and climate destruction in Indonesia and Malaysia. This is not acceptable (4)."

Most of the PKE in the shipment will be used by dairy farmers who are shareholders in the cooperative. Fonterra also has direct links with the PKE supply chain through its half-owned subsidiary RD1 (5).

"Fonterra's intensification of the dairy industry is fuelling rainforest destruction, increasing greenhouse gas emissions here and abroad, putting pressure on the health of our land and threatening our clean, green reputation.

"We have no hope of slowing climate change if we continue to raze and burn the world's remaining rainforests," said Boxer.

The import of palm kernel animal feed for Fonterra undermines the New Zealand Government's negotiating position at Copenhagen.

"On the one hand, the New Zealand Government argues in international negotiations that New Zealand should get off lightly on tackling climate change due to our agricultural emissions and on the basis we're doing everything we can to reduce those emissions.

On the other hand it is allowing the intensification of dairy farming, and Fonterra's contribution to rainforest clearance, even when palm-based animal feed is not needed. If John Key continues to stand by and allow this kind of hypocrisy, New Zealand's credibility in the negotiations could be damaged," said Boxer.

Last year New Zealand imported 1.1 million tonnes of PKE, one quarter of the world's production, at a cost of around $300 million (6).

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.

Notes for Editor

(1) Based on an average cargo of 20,000 tonnes of PKE. According to data from carbon footprint research of the palm industry rainforest destruction of peat lands for palm plantations gives rise to 96,565 kg of greenhouse gas emissions per hectare per year of production (GHG emissions from palm oil production Literature review and proposals for amendments of RSPO Principles & Criteria, July 2009). According to carbon footprint methodology by a Malaysian Government research agency for industrial development the production of one kg of PKE gives rise to a footprint of up to 18.2 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (The LCA Approach to Illustrate Palm Oil's Sustainability Advantage S.S.Chen SIRIM Environmental & Bioprocess Technology Centre, Malaysia. SIRIM Berhad is a wholly-owned company of the Malaysian Government under the Minister of Finance Incorporated).

 (2) 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/car.

 (3) See footnote 1

(4) http://www.greenpeace.org/new-zealand/press/reports/palm-kernel-briefing

 (5) In 2008 Fonterra's joint venture subsidiary RD1 entered into a joint venture with one of the world's biggest rainforest destroyers for palm oil and kernel production, Wilmar International. The resulting company, International Nutritionals Limited was incorporated on 22 July 2008 (according to the NZ Companies Office).

(6) Statistics New ZealandGreenpeace stops palm kernel shipment coming into Tauranga

Tauranga, 16 September 2009 - Greenpeace activists have blocked 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.

The activity follows an expose three weeks ago in the Sunday Star Times, which implicated Fonterra in rainforest destruction.

The 12 activists who have boarded the East Ambition, several kilometers from Tauranga port, have locked themselves to the vessel and its cargo cranes to prevent the ship unloading when it berths. News footage shows them holding banners which read "Fonterra Climate Crime."

"Fonterra's involvement in rainforest destruction and the massive climate impact this causes is criminal," said Jo McVeagh an activist locked to one of the cranes.

"This ship's cargo has contributed to the release of up to 364,000 tonnes of carbon emissions (1). That's the same as the emissions from 127,000 cars over a year (2). Fonterra and John Key have taken no steps to stop this climate crime which is why we're taking action today."

Greenpeace New Zealand climate campaigner Simon Boxer said millions of hectares of Indonesian and Malaysian rainforest are being destroyed to grow palm.

"Currently PKE is a nasty product every step of the way. New Zealand's imports of 1.1million tonnes of palm kernel animal feed in 2008 contributed to the release of up to 20 million tonnes of greenhouse emissions in the process (3). It's then used as a supplementary feed for New Zealand's increasing intensive dairy sector, which further increases emissions."

"Over the last weeks Fonterra has done nothing but mislead New Zealand about its links to rainforest and climate destruction in Indonesia and Malaysia. This is not acceptable (4)."

Most of the PKE in the shipment will be used by dairy farmers who are shareholders in the cooperative. Fonterra also has direct links with the PKE supply chain through its half-owned subsidiary RD1 (5).

"Fonterra's intensification of the dairy industry is fuelling rainforest destruction, increasing greenhouse gas emissions here and abroad, putting pressure on the health of our land and threatening our clean, green reputation.

"We have no hope of slowing climate change if we continue to raze and burn the world's remaining rainforests," said Boxer.

The import of palm kernel animal feed for Fonterra undermines the New Zealand Government's negotiating position at Copenhagen.

"On the one hand, the New Zealand Government argues in international negotiations that New Zealand should get off lightly on tackling climate change due to our agricultural emissions and on the basis we're doing everything we can to reduce those emissions.

On the other hand it is allowing the intensification of dairy farming, and Fonterra's contribution to rainforest clearance, even when palm-based animal feed is not needed. If John Key continues to stand by and allow this kind of hypocrisy, New Zealand's credibility in the negotiations could be damaged," said Boxer.

Last year New Zealand imported 1.1 million tonnes of PKE, one quarter of the world's production, at a cost of around $300 million (6).

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

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