9 Jul 2013

New dairy water accord set to be launched

1:45 pm on 9 July 2013

The dairy industry's new water accord and sustainability strategy will be launched at Parliament on Tuesday night.

The Sustainable Dairying Water Accord aimed at improving the environmental performance of dairy farms throughout the country will replace the old Clean Streams Accord signed between Fonterra and the Government a decade ago.

Dairy NZ chair John Luxton says the new accord is about the dairy industry honouring its environmental obligations, setting targets and meeting those targets.

He says the industry's strategy for sustainable dairy farming from 2013 to 2025 will also be unveiled.

"We've got to be competitive and we've got to be responsible," Mr Luxton says, "and I think the industry recognises that."

However, the head of one dairy co-operative says its farmers are being made to feel like outcasts by the industry because they're not signing up to the new accord.

The chief executive of Westland Milk Products, Rod Quin, told farmers last week that his company won't be signing as a full signatory and that it's been feeling the heat of industry pressure.

Mr Luxton says Westland faces unique conditions and its not signing up in no way threatens the integrity of the accord.