New ac­cord gets tough on streams

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY - By ALI TOCKER

Anew-look, tougher ver­sion of the Clean Streams Ac­cord has been cre­ated by the dairy in­dus­try, to im­prove the en­vi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance and im­age of dairy farm­ers.

DairyNZ and the coun­try’s dairy com­pa­nies have re­leased a new blue­print for man­ag­ing dairy farm­ing’s im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment.

DairyNZ chair­man John Luxton said it was a ‘‘broader and more com­pre­hen­sive’’ com­mit­ment than the pre­vi­ous Clean Streams Ac­cord.

The Sus­tain­able Dairy­ing: Water Ac­cord is now out for feed­back.

The aim is for it to be fi­nalised and for­mally launched in May, in time for the 2013-14 dairy sea­son.

In key changes, all dairy farm­ers will be in­cluded in en­vi­ron­men­tal tar­gets, not just Fon­terra sup­pli­ers.

All dairy cat­tle will have to be ex­cluded from wa­ter­ways and wet­lands by set dates, and new in­de­pen­dent au­dits will be in­tro­duced to en­sure farm­ers meet the tar­gets and ‘‘to en­sure trans­parency and ro­bust­ness’’, Luxton said.

The new agree­ment will re­place the Clean Streams Ac­cord, which was devel­oped in 2003. That ac­cord was be­tween Fon­terra, and cen­tral and lo­cal government.

‘‘We’re step­ping up as an in­dus­try with this new ac­cord to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for driv­ing change and mea­sur­ing progress to­wards our en­vi­ron­men­tal goals,’’ Luxton said.

The main sig­na­to­ries to the new ac­cord are DairyNZ, the Dairy Com­pa­nies As­so­ci­a­tion of NZ (DCANZ) and all dairy com­pa­nies – Fon­terra, Mi­raka, Open Coun­try, Tatua, Syn­lait and West­land.

Other par­ties and in­dus­try bod­ies are ex­pected to sign up as friends and sup­port­ing part­ners.

Th­ese may in­clude re­gional coun­cils, iwi, government agen­cies and the fer­tiliser and ir­ri­ga­tion sec­tor. Fed­er­ated Farm­ers has al­ready com­mit­ted to be­ing a sup­port­ing part­ner.

In a key change, the ac­cord will in­volve all of New Zealand’s 12,000 dairy farm­ers, not just Fon­terra’s 10,500 farmer share­hold­ers.

Some com­pa­nies have al­ready sig­nalled that many of the ac­cord com­mit­ments will be con­di­tions of sup­ply spec­i­fied in sup­ply con­tracts.

The ac­cord’s new tar­gets to get cat­tle out of wa­ter­ways in­clude:

90 per cent of dairy cat­tle ex­cluded from wa­ter­ways by May 31, 2014 and 100 per cent by May 31, 2017.

100 per cent of dairy cat­tle ex­cluded from wet­lands by May 31, 2014.

DairyNZ said sup­port sys­tems were be­ing put in place to en­sure farm­ers had the sup­port and ad­vice to meet the new com­mit­ments.

Luxton said the new ac­cord had been dis­cussed for months with var­i­ous groups, in­clud­ing Fed­er­ated Farm­ers.

‘‘We’re now re­leas­ing the Ac­cord as we move into fur­ther wider en­gage­ment with farm­ers and other stake­hold­ers over the next cou­ple of months,’’ he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.