Chapman Tripp guides Fonterra's net zero partnership with Nestlé

The team-up will result in New Zealand's first net zero carbon emissions dairy farm

Chapman Tripp guides Fonterra's net zero partnership with Nestlé

Chapman Tripp has advised dairy nutrition co-operative Fonterra on its partnership with Nestlé to help both companies reduce on-farm emissions with a new net zero initiative.

The partnership gives rise to a five-year project for Fonterra and Nestlé to develop a commercially viable net zero carbon emissions dairy farm, which will be run with co-partner Dairy Trust Taranaki.

Dairy Trust Taranaki will work with Fonterra and other industry partners to cut total emissions on the farm by 30% in mid 2027, with successful solutions that will benefit farmers, cows, and its milk. The demonstration farm at the centre of the project is a 290-hectare property surrounding Fonterra’s Whareroa site.

Lessons learned will be shared through open days with farmers, who can then adopt the techniques and technologies to help reduce the climate impact of the industry.

In addition, the partnership between Fonterra and Nestlé also kickstarts the launch of the greenhouse gas farmer support pilot programme. According to Fonterra, this project will support enrolled Fonterra supplying farms with improved management of feed and pasture and enhanced milk production efficiency to lower on-farm emissions.

Miles Hurrell, chief executive officer of Fonterra, said the dairy co-operative aspires to be net zero by 2050, with a part of its strategy to lead in sustainability. At present, Fonterra is responsible for approximately 30% of the world's dairy exports and with revenue exceeding $22bn.

“New Zealand already provides some of the most sustainable nutrition in the world through its pasture-based dairy system. This new partnership will look at ways to further reduce emissions, increasing the country’s low-emissions advantage over the rest of the world,” Hurrell said. “We know we will make bigger gains, for both the co-op and country, by partnering with others. Working with partners such as Nestlé is our best opportunity to create innovative solutions to local and global industry challenges.”

The Chapman Tripp team was led by partners Alana Lampitt and Kelly McFadzien, as well as senior solicitor Dan Chan.

“This initiative is a first for New Zealand,” Lampitt said. “Agricultural emissions are a large part of New Zealand’s emissions profile – tackling them will require fresh thinking, including innovative on-farm solutions. It’s great to work with clients who are blazing a trail and looking for solutions that can be adopted across the industry.”

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