Growing demand for more sustainably-produced meat and dairy products is behind the first Government-funded programme to cut carbon emissions from processing plants.
More than half the country's 200 meat and dairy plants use coal-fired boilers, which use about 20 percent of all coal and five percent of all gas consumed in New Zealand.
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) is offering grants of up to $15,000 per plant to companies like AFFCO and Fonterra to help them make the switch to more sustainable fuels.
EECA project manager Kirk Archibald said the programme hoped to cut 7000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year.
"That equates to about $700,000 worth of energy savings per year. If you turn it into something that's a bit more tangible, it's about 150 truckloads of coal."
Mr Archibald said EECA was hoping to recruit at least 50 plants into the programme by July.