NZ Dairy Goliath FONTERRA Killing Rainforest
Posted by feww on August 23, 2009
Our thanks to TEAA for supplying the links
New Zealand dairy Goliath Fonterra and NZ farmers fed their national herd one-quarter of the world’s palm kernel stock food supply in 2008
A new scandal involving Fonterra, New Zealand’s dairy Goliath, and the country’s unscrupulous farmers has broken out.
Fonterra and NZ farmers imported more than one million tonnes of palm kernel expeller (PKE) in 2008 from Indonesia and Malaysia, where the tropical rainforest is being lost leading, among a plethora of looming ecological disasters, to the destruction of orang-utan and tiger habitat.
To produce palm kernel (and palm oil) vast tracks of tropical rainforest in Indonesia and Malaysia are clear-felled to make room for plantations, destroying a primary carbon sink, in addition to creating a major source of carbon emissions, and accelerating the extinction of thousands of species.
The Sumatran orang-utan is losing its habitat to New Zealand farmers. Photo: Oka Budhi/Greenpace
“An international body, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, has been set up to ensure sustainable supply of palm product, but secretary-general Dr Vengeta Rao said last week that ‘very little’ of what entered New Zealand would have been certified.” NZ’s Sunday Star Times reported.
Roundtable say only a total of about 330,000 metric tons of PKE on the global market since August 2008 may be considered certified. New Zealand imported 1,104,387 ton, nearly the same amount as the combined consumption of the 27 EU countries.
Two weeks ago, the Sunday Star-Times travelled to Indonesia with Greenpeace communications manager Suzette Jackson and Waitakaruru farmer Max Purnell to see, first hand, the impact of this trade that the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry says has increased one thousand-fold since 2000.
We spoke to community leaders who said they had been jailed in their fight to keep land from palm companies, and conservationists who feared for the future of animals such as the Sumatran orang-utan.
“Not only is this trade damaging to the environment on the ground here, it’s also really damaging to how we are trying to portray ourselves internationally, as a country that does care, that does give a damn, and wants to live up to what we trade on our clean, green identity,” said Jackson.
Are New Zealand farmers telling the truth about “the spike in imports” being due to a harsh drought in 2008 compelling them to import supplementary feed?
Not so! Says Jackson, “the figures have climbed really steadily over the past 10 years. Drought has a little bit to do with it, but the major reason this increase has come about is through the intensification and corporatisation of New Zealand’s dairy sector.”
Purnell said he had witnessed the “systematic, deliberate, studied rape and desecration of land and the local people’s ability to have a future with it”.
New Zealand palm kernel imports jumped from a third of a ton in 1999 to about one-half of a million ton in 2007 and then more than doubled to over 1.1 million tons in 2008.
According to an article published in the Sri Lankan daily newspaper, Heladiwa Irida Sangrahaya, Fonterra milk products are adulterated with palm oil or other vegetable oils. “On March 15, the newspaper printed an article and editorial alleging the milk products did not contain full cream, but instead added palm oil and vegetable oil.” Fonterra didn’t like the article and is seeking a billion rupee (about $17 million) and a gagging writ over the newspaper and its editor.
Fonterra part owns the rural supply chain RD1, which sells palm kernel expeller to the farmers. RD1 buys its bulk imports from Wilmar International, the world’s largest trader of palm oils and kernel, a company known globally for rainforest destruction.
Be fair to the rainforest, tiger, orang-utan, and countless other species that are going extinct.
Boycott New Zealand Dairy and Meat Products!
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