Economic, environmental and social sustainability is at the core of the co-operative business model while having a sustainable co-operative is one of three core platforms for Fonterra’s strategy, writes Cooperative Business NZ CEO Craig Presland. In many ways it is the most vital as well as the most challenging, he says.
“Fonterra has a strong heritage of respecting NZ’s natural resources and working with them to produce quality pasture-based milk and nutritional dairy products.
Fonterra’s Sustainability report is, in my view, one of the most comprehensive and meaningful reports ever produced on sustainability by an agricultural co-operative globally.
Published earlier this week, the report considers the total environmental impact of this leading co-operative’s business locally and globally, and links in well to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
I also post a brief message from Fonterra’s CEO, Theo Spierings, in relation to this report.
CEO, Cooperative Business NZ15th December 2017
Message from Fonterra’s CEO, Theo Spierings, 13th December 2017:
I am writing to you to share a proud milestone for Fonterra.
We have released our first Sustainability Report that shares our environmental, social and economic performance.
The report is compiled to global best practice using the Group Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework and has also been independently assured. Around one third of New Zealand’s Top 100 companies use a framework like GRI but a smaller number than that have it independently assured. The result is an objective view of how we operate.
Sustainability is core to our strategy and over the last year we have extended our strategic planning horizons considering longer-term global trends and prioritising the areas where we can contribute to our communities.
The report shows what we’ve done well and what we can do better, set out against our commitments and targets. Some findings include:
* New Zealand has among the lowest greenhouse gas emissions per litre of milk collected in the world (0.85 per kgCO2/kgFPCM).
* 95% of supplying farms in New Zealand are participating in nutrient management reporting and benchmarking.
* 98.4% of waterways on supplying farms in New Zealand are fenced to keep cows out of waterways.
* Fonterra’s global Food and Nutrition Guidelines were endorsed by the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation.
* More than 140,000 Kiwi kids get a free 200ml serving of milk each school day. One university study published in 2017 showed significantly improved bone health in children who were part of the Milk for Schools programme compared to students who were not.
We have more work to do and are committed to doing it.
FONTERRA CO-OPERATIVE GROUPFonterra Shareholders' Council Chair Duncan Coull, pictured, collected the 2017 Co-operative Business of the Year award in recognition of Fonterra’s significant and positive impact within the co-operative community.
Watch this introductory video to learn more about this country’s largest co-operative, the global dairy nutrition company Fonterra – owned by 10,500 New Zealand farmers and their families.
Fonterra’s Co-operative Philosophy:
- Shares in Fonterra Co-operative Group can only be held by supplying shareholders.
- Fonterra supplying shareholders agree to the dual commitment to supply milk and invest capital.
- Supplying shareholders will be issued and must hold co-operative shares in proportion with their total milk solids supplied.
- Control of Fonterra is exercised by its supplying shareholders who have voting rights in proportion to their total milk solids supplied.
- Financial benefits and obligations that arise from cornerstone activities are allocated to supplying shareholders in proportion to their total milk solids supplied.
How these Principles are applied:
Maintain co-operative culture
- Fonterra exists for the mutual benefit and sustainability of its supplying shareholders.
- Fonterra is committed to co-operative ownership of cornerstone activities.
- Transactions between Fonterra and its supplying shareholders must be transparent and fair.
- Supplying shareholders acknowledge that Fonterra must act in the collective good of all supplying shareholders.
Accept all shareholders’ milk
- Fonterra will collect all supplying shareholders milk that meets the Terms and Conditions of Supply.
- Fonterra must provide supplying shareholders with timely, transparent and economic signals as to the value of their milk.
- Fonterra will provide supplying shareholders with timely, relevant information and services to help manage their respective businesses.
Maximise sustainable returns
- Supplying shareholders invest in the collection, processing and marketing of their milk to enhance its value.
- Fonterra’s principle purpose and priority focus is to maximize the sustainable vale of supplying shareholders’ milk.
- Payout is of primary importance to meeting supplying shareholder needs.
- Economic sustainability is fundamental to ensuring the co-operative’s longevity.
Inform, Educate and Consult
- Fonterra will keep supplying shareholders well informed in a timely, transparent and balanced manner consistent with their status as owners of the company.
- Fonterra will consult fully with supplying shareholders before implementing any significant changes that impact upon shareholders.
- Well informed supplying shareholders can and should participate actively in their co-operative.
- The commitment to inform, educate and promote the benefits of the co-operative extends to all stakeholders.