Recently reports have shown that the people of New Zealand are becoming increasingly concerned about animal agriculture and the effects of producing meat and dairy products on the environment. This is reflected in the rising number of vegans amongst the country’s population.

This growing consciousness is impacting huge businesses in the country, with dairy giant Fonterra releasing its first sustainability report regarding its environmental performance in 16 years.

The report openly acknowledges public concern about the dairy trade and the detrimental effect it currently has on our planet.

Although the admission of the impact of dairy farming on the planet is a key step for the company and shows a crucial change in thinking, Martin Taylor, chief executive of Fish & Game is cynical. He believes this is a case of too little too late from the company.

Taylor has said, ‘Fonterra’s sudden acknowledgement that it needs to operate sustainably and environmentally is long overdue. This company has been around for 16 years and in that time, we have seen cow numbers soar, irrigation explode and water quality plummet.’

He then went on to add, ‘if Fonterra is sincere about reversing dairy’s environmental impact, it must accept its present farming model is unsustainable, and that dairying must pay for the cost of cleaning up its pollution. The only way forward is fewer cows, less water use and less environmental harm.’

With hope, Fonterra will heed Taylor’s words and this report indicates a real change is about to occur in the company’s future.