UPDATE: On 12 Aug 2016 Fonterra announced a commitment to using only responsible palm oil products throughout its supply chains. This means it'll use only PKE and other palm oil products from suppliers that aren't clearing rainforest, destroying peatlands or exploiting local communities and workers. This is a big first step for Fonterra and a win for people power. We'll now be looking to them for a full PKE phase out.
Over the last decade Fonterra’s shift from pasture-fed farming to industrial dairying has meant a heavy reliance on supplementary feeds such as palm kernel expeller (PKE) from South East Asia. Such is the scale of its use on Fonterra farms, that New Zealand has become the single largest user of PKE, importing nearly 2 million tonnes in 2015.
PKE has been a big part of the intensive dairy model that has failed our rivers, land, climate and farmers.
PKE has become a lucrative part of the largely unsustainable palm business which is causing rampant deforestation and peatland drainage, as well as the recent forest fires raging across Indonesia.
Evidence from a Greenpeace investigation recently linked Fonterra’s main supplier of palm product to the forest destruction that has been called the worst environmental crime of this century. The fires have caused widespread human suffering and ill-health; the loss of habitat for endangered species like the orang-utan and released massive amounts of climate pollution.
There is no need for New Zealand’s dairy products to be produced at the expense of the last remaining forests of Indonesia or the people and animals that depend on them. There are much smarter, safer and cleaner ways of farming in New Zealand that will not only protect the air we breathe but safeguard our rivers and streams too.
New Zealand's biggest farmer Landcorp has committed to going PKE Free. Now it's Fonterra's turn.