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The Government has announced changes to the national dairy industry regulations (DIRA) but has kept a controversial legal requirement on Fonterra to pick up milk from new dairy conversions, angering Greenpeace.
The legal requirement on Fonterra to pick up milk from new conversions is known as the ‘open-entry’ requirement. Removing open-entry from the legislation had support from unlikely allies, Greenpeace and Fonterra itself.
But the Government has decided to keep the open-entry requirement, adding a caveat that now allows Fonterra to refuse milk from a new conversion if it breaks their terms of supply.
Greenpeace campaigner Gen Toop says this sadly reveals that, despite its rhetoric, this Government is failing to take the climate crisis seriously.
“We are in the middle of a climate emergency. There cannot be a single new dairy farm added to New Zealand’s already grossly bloated dairy herd. We urgently need fewer cows,” she says.
“The Government should have at least made it easy for Fonterra to reject new industrial dairy conversions, including abominations like the mega-dairy farm in the fragile and iconic Mackenzie country.”
The environmental organisation says it has become increasingly disappointed with the coalition Government’s failure to regulate dairy and agricultural pollution.
“Since it took power in 2017 amid promises to clean up rivers and tackle climate change this Government has not put in place a single new piece of regulation to deal with New Zealand’s biggest polluter – the dairy industry,” said Toop.
The latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory shows that the dairy industry is the single largest climate criminal in the country, emitting more climate pollution than the entire transport fleet.
Greenpeace is calling for fundamental changes to dairying in New Zealand including a major reduction in cow numbers and a ban on synthetic nitrogen fertiliser.