Fonterra’s director of social responsibility, Carolyn Mortland, said that the new standard requires Fonterra to purchase only segregated supply palm oil by 2018, and to work with suppliers of palm products to ensure plans are in place for full traceability to plantation by 2018.
“We want to ensure there is no risk of deforestation within our supply chain. This standard aims to ensure the fair and ethical treatment of suppliers and to protecting conservation values,” Mortland said.
Member of RSPO
The standard applies to both palm oil and to palm kernel expeller (PKE) that is used by some farmers as animal feed.
Since 2009, Fonterra has belonged to the Round Table for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and it currently offsets 100% of palm oil use via RSPO and Green Palm certification.
PKE is a by-product of the palm oil industry and Fonterra already uses a single-source provider, Wilmar International, which has a ‘no-deforestation, no-exploitation’ policy.
Role for PKE for farmers
Fonterra sells approximately one third of the PKE that is used in New Zealand through its Farm Source stores.
“For some of our farmers, PKE has a role to play in cow health and milk production, particularly as grass quality declines over a season or during bad weather such as drought,” Farm Source COO Miles Hurrell said.
Fonterra also currently has a guideline in place recommending the maximum use of PKE per cow per day.
“We know that our pasture-base production gives us a competitive advantage in global markets, and we need to protect that,” Hurrell said.