Greenpeace welcomes first step from Fonterra on palm kernel

Press release - August 12, 2016
Fonterra’s announcement that it will clean up its use of palm kernel expeller (PKE) is a good first step, but the dairy giant must move towards a full phase out as soon as possible, says Greenpeace.

Fonterra has this morning committed to using only responsible palm oil products throughout its global supply chains. This follows a move by Landcorp earlier in the week to completely phase out its use of PKE.
PKE is a by-product of the palm oil industry, which is the leading cause of rainforest destruction in Indonesia. Greenpeace has been campaigning for seven years to stop its use in New Zealand.
Greenpeace Forests Advisor Grant Rosoman: “New Zealanders in their tens of thousands have urged Fonterra to drop PKE. People don't want to be consuming products linked to the destruction of the world’s last remaining rainforests.
“Fonterra has bowed to public pressure and taken an important first step. This is a win for the rainforests and a win for better dairying in New Zealand, because PKE's been a big part of the intensive dairy model that has failed our rivers, land, climate and farmers.
“We now look forward to Fonterra moving towards a full phase out,” said Mr Rosoman.
New Zealand is currently the largest importer of PKE, using about a quarter of the world's supply each year as supplementary feed for livestock. On some farms, it’s believed to make up nearly 50 percent of cows’ diets.
Fonterra’s new policy, unveiled today, involves using only responsible palm oil products on its farms (i.e. PKE and other palm oil products from suppliers that are not clearing rainforest, developing peatlands or exploiting local communities and workers).
“Fonterra’s guidance to farmers to immediately reduce PKE use and re-focus on pasture-based dairying is a significant move towards ecological farming, which is exactly where New Zealand should be,” said Rosoman.
“We encourage New Zealand farmers and other suppliers or consumers of PKE in this country to follow Landcorp and Fonterra’s lead and ensure they’re now only using responsible PKE, while moving to stopping its use completely as soon as possible,” said Rosoman.


In August 2009 a team from Greenpeace New Zealand went undercover in Indonesia to document rainforest destruction for palm. Later the same year Greenpeace stopped a shipment of palm kernel entering Tauranga Port, and later targeted a palm kernel ship in New Plymouth.

In September 2010, Greenpeace returned to Indonesia to gather evidence of how the palm industry was opening up new frontiers of destruction, and  This evidence was linked to Fonterra and delivered directly to Fonterra's headquarters in Auckland, and to politicians in Wellington.

A summary of the campaign can be found here

In 2010 Greenpeace released a spoof Fonterra milk TV ad. It was shared widely and went viral gaining over 250,000 views on youtube. The shocking ad starring Shortland St actor Bonnie Soper connected Fonterra milk with the death of orangutan in Indonesian rainforests cleared for palm plantations.