17 Oct 2013

Fonterra dumping milk products in North Island

8:14 pm on 17 October 2013

Fonterra is being swamped by the volume of milk being produced in the North Island and is having to dump excess milk products of little value.

Fonterra milk truck.

Photo: RNZ

The excellent spring growing conditions have led to an early seasonal milk flow peak - known as the flush - and the dairy co-operative has been caught on the hop.

In the Waikato region, surplus milk products are being spread across farmland by truck.

The regional council there says there are also contingency plans in place allowing farmers to dispose of milk through their effluent systems if needed.

In Taranaki, Fonterra is burying a by-product of milk processing, permeate. It is also disposing of buttermilk through a local sewage treatment plant.

In a statement, Fonterra says it is not dumping any raw milk and is giving away what it can to piggeries and calf-rearers.

The company has also been shipping milk from the North Island to the South Island as it struggles to cope with the milk flow that Fonterra says was up 5% in September compared with last season.