A glass of New Zealand milk produces less than half of greenhouse gas emissions compared to the global average. This makes Kiwi dairy farmers the most emissions efficient milk producers in the world.
DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says sustainable practices and world-leading ability to make quality, highly nutritious milk means New Zealand is the best at efficiently converting grass to glass.
«As the world navigates uncertain times, we’ve carved out an enviable position in primary sector production,» says Mackle. «What is less well known, is our environmental journey. We are part of He Waka Eke Noa, a world-first partnership between the farming sector and government, building a framework to reduce agricultural emissions.»
For over a decade, farmers have transitioned to increasingly sustainable practices and those changes are being formalised through Farm Environment Plans, which improve water quality and further reduce emissions. Through the sector’s Dairy Tomorrow strategy, all farms will have an environment plan by 2025.
«At the heart of our sector are dairy farmers. We’re led by farmers who are continually developing new and improved farm practices. It’s a journey – and while we’ve made good progress, there’s more to be done.
«Dairy farmers are passionate about what they do – they love the land, their animals and are committed to the future,» says Mackle. «There’s a lot to be proud of.»
New Zealand is the world’s largest exporter of dairy products by a significant margin, despite accounting for fewer than 2 per cent of the world’s dairy cows.
«This is due to a combination of factors – our animal genetics, farm management skills that harness pasture and our temperate climate, coupled with the progressive nature of New Zealand dairy farmers.»
Dairy is New Zealand’s biggest export earner – worth nearly $20 billion in 2020 and with products exported to over 140 markets worldwide. The sector will play a key role in helping to rebuild the economy following the effects of Covid-19.
«We all know the economic benefits dairy brings. But of equal value is the drive behind our environmental role – we are emissions efficient and taking action daily to reduce our environmental footprint.»
DairyNZ is a sector partner in Dairy Tomorrow, which sets out the future for New Zealand dairy farming. The strategy has six core commitments – animal care, environment, competitiveness, workplaces, communities, and nutrition.
Rise & Shine is a new DairyNZ campaign telling the dairy story – what makes kiwi farmers unique and why we are confident in the future. They want to share how much dairy farmers care about New Zealand and are committed to further improving the sustainability of the sector.
Find out more about the future New Zealand dairy is charting at riseandshine.nz.