Category Archives: Fonterra

Grandmothers and farmers block Fonterra plant

Press Release

Three grandmothers, a student and a farmer have this morning chained themselves to a gate to prevent coal being delivered to Fonterra’s Clandeboye dairy factory in South Canterbury.dsc_2258

At 7.30 am, the five locked themselves to the gate at the entrance to the factory’s coal plant, as a pile of woodchips was dumped in front of them, with the message “FONTERRA QUIT COAL,” while others were dressed as cows pointing to the woodchips as an alternative.  In all, 24 people are now at the site taking part in the protest.

One of the grandmothers is Coal Action Network Aotearoa’s (CANA) Jeanette Fitzsimons,joined by CANA’s Rosemary Penwarden, Auckland Coal Action’s Jill Whitmore (also a farmer), Mike Dumbar – one of the farmers who refused to sell his land to Solid Energy when it was buying up land for its now-abandoned plans for massive coal expansion project in Southland, and Charlie Montague – a health student from Dunedin.

“Fonterra is our second largest user of coal and this factory burns 180,000 tonnes of coal a year. All of this ends up in our atmosphere, contributing to climate change. It’s time for Fonterra to keep the coal in the hole and switch to woodchips instead,” said Ms Fitzsimons.

“Fonterra’s coal use is also propping up the mining industry – coal mines around the country are being re-opened and extended because of Fonterra’s addiction to coal.”

Fonterra is the largest customer for Bathurst Resources, which started mining the Denniston Plateau, but stopped when the coal price dropped.

“There is no question that without Fonterra, this company would have gone bust,” she added.

The protest has come at the end of CANA’s “Summerfest” in Ashburton, which has seen more than 50 campaigners from around the country gather for a two-day discussion around the issues of Coal, Cows and Climate.

“The meeting was extremely productive. New Zealand’s biggest contribution to climate change is agriculture, with rising emissions from the dairy industry in particular.   Farmers are being hit by the impacts of climate change, and everyone is experiencing the gathering crisis of water pollution.  These issues are all connected.”

 

Fonterra Rorts the ETS

from Jeanette Fitzsimons

It is perhaps no surprise that our friend Fonterra, as the second biggest coal user in NZ (and a substantial user of gas as well), is among the “dirty dozen” largest users of fraudulent ETS credits identified by the Morgan Foundation in their brilliant piece of research Who’s the Real Cheat Here? Climate Cheats II: The Dozen Dirty Businesses.

What is surprising is that in Zella’s creative graphic below, using figures from that report, Fonterra doesn’t look too bad. It comes tenth in the Morgan list and holds fewer shonky credits than the oil and electricity companies. Fonterra’s 1.2 million units, although still huge, compare favourably with BP’s 6.1 million units.

the-dirty-dozen-infographic-2

But Fonterra is worse than they look and here’s why:  

The ETS rules give free credits to “trade exposed” companies whose overseas competitors don’t have to pay any price for their carbon emissions. Fonterra is eligible for free credits equal to 60% of its process emissions.

These credits, worth up to $25 per unit on the international market, are paid out courtesy of the NZ taxpayer. Fonterra was expected to use them in part-payment for their emissions.

But they didn’t. Instead, like many other companies benefitting from this largesse, Fonterra cheated. They sold the credits at full price and bought dirt cheap credits from places like Russia and Ukraine which did not represent actual emissions reductions – in other words, they were fraudulent. They used these junk credits to pay their ETS obligation to the Government.

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Would that Fonterra Would Use Wood!

Jeanette Fitzsimons writes…

Well, actually CANA doesn’t care whether Fonterra uses wood or not. If it finds a way to dry milk with moonbeams, that’s fine by us. What it mustn’t do is keep using coal, let alone expanding it, or expand its gas use.

We’ve been promoting waste wood from forestry because that is abundant, it’s renewable as long as forests are replanted, the technology to burn it is mature, it is found around the country, and we have the local expertise. So, ever helpful, we are getting alongside Fonterra and trying to find a good alternative for them. But the bottom line is, coal must go, and so must gas soon after.

Outside its Edendale dairy factory in Southland, Fonterra gets a clear message.

Outside its Edendale dairy factory in Southland, Fonterra gets a clear message.

Our campaign is having an effect – faster than we expected.

After hearing our evidence (well, our witness Peter Fraser’s evidence) at the Studholme consent hearing that prices are not going to rise enough to make new or expanded dairy farms profitable, and so there will be no milk for the proposed plant to dry, Fonterra has half accepted our argument and dropped one of their two proposed driers. That’s 270,000 new cows they were sure a few weeks ago they had to provide for, which they now agree are not going to materialise. So where is their evidence that the other 270,000 will?
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A Trip Down The Rabbit Hole: Rosemary Penwarden Reports From The Fonterra Studholme Expansion Resource Consent Hearing

Rosemary Penwarden spent a day in the fantasy world of “Business as Usual” opposing Fonterra’s ten-fold expansion of its South Canterbury Studholme milk drying plant. Find out what it feels like to take a trip down the rabbit hole:

http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/380579/fonterra-has-no-future-do-we

 

From Edendale to Auckland, They Came With One Message: Fonterra, Quit Coal

We think this is the first-ever political protest in the small Southland town of Edendale

An unambiguous message outside the massive Fonterra plant in the small Southland town of Edendale. Great work by Coal Action Murihiku.

On Monday 4 April, as Fonterra launched its bid for resource consent for a massive coal-fired expansion of its Studholme plant in South Canterbury, which if consented and built further worsening greenhouse gas emissions at a critical time for the climate, ordinary New Zealanders up and down the nation took action in their local community. There were many voices, but one message: Fonterra, quit coal.

Fonterra responded with greenwash, claiming that they were on our side, and that their new Studholme boilers would, if built, use 20% biomass. But in fact their resource consent application documents say the boilers would use up to 20% biomass, and admit that “up to 20%” is mostly likely to mean “0%”.

It’s time to stop the spin, Fonterra. Actions speak a whole lot louder than words. You must take real, measurable, progressive steps to get off coal and onto renewable sources of energy.

Outside a Fonterra distribution plant in Christchurch

Outside a Fonterra distribution plant in Christchurch

Outside Fonterra's Brightwater factory near Nelson

Outside Fonterra’s Brightwater factory near Nelson

Auckland Coal Action sends the message loud and clear

Auckland Coal Action sends the message loud and clear

 

Outside Fonterra's flash HQ

Outside Fonterra’s flash HQ

Poster placed in an Auckland window

Poster placed in an Auckland window

Is Fonterra Seeing the Light?

by Jeanette Fitzsimons

Several new Fonterra plants have been officially opened in the last week or two, though they have all been running for a few months. Together they suggest the company may finally be giving some weight to the “value” component of its mantra, “Volume, Value, Velocity”.

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 11.09.03 amWe have criticised Fonterra in the past for its push for more, more and more milk, leading to farm intensification, more water pollution and more greenhouse gases. So it’s only fair we issue a cautious bouquet when they balance that with added value.

Bill English has just opened the new Reverse Osmosis plant at Edendale, the largest dairy factory in the southern hemisphere. Reverse osmosis is a widely used technology which purifies water or concentrates liquids by passing them through a membrane under pressure. Continue reading

One Woman Stood Up To Fonterra. Now You Can Follow Her Example.

Selva J. Calvi stands up to Fonterra in Whangarei

Selva J. Calvo stands up to Fonterra in Whangarei

This is Selva. Along with nearly 3000 other New Zealanders, she is concerned that while the coal industry is in retreat around the world, here in New Zealand Fonterra is rapidly expanding its use of coal and propping up some of the nation’s most destructive coal companies, like Bathurst Resources, by doing so.

So Selva did something. She went to the venue of a Fonterra shareholders’ meeting and made a public stand against Fonterra’s coal-fired expansion plans – plans that, if carried out, will make climate change worse and more destructive.

We salute Selva and others who took a stand against Fonterra at their nationwide series of shareholders’ meetings last week. But you can take a stand against Fonterra too – and you don’t have to get out in public to do so.

All you have to do is tell Environment Canterbury you don’t want Fonterra to build two dirty new coal boilers at its Studholme plant in South Canterbury, when they could be installing wood-fired boilers instead, using waste wood from forestry operations.

You can make a quick submission using this form. Make sure you say you are opposed to all 8 resource consent applications – they are all part of the same plan.

And if you need more information, check out our Quick Submission Guide (Word |PDF), where you’ll find plenty of great arguments to use.

PS: Submissions close on Friday 27 November at 5pm – don’t wait till it’s too late!

 

 

Submit Now On Fonterra’s Proposed Coal-Fired Studholme Dairy Factory Expansion

2777 people signed our open letter with Action Station asking Fonterra to pledge “no new coal boilers” and progressively switch their old coal boilers to wood. But Fonterra are refusing to listen, and they are pressing ahead with plans to build two new coal-fired boilers as part of their Studholme plant expansion in South Canterbury.

Fonterra have said that up to 20% of biomass could be used in their new boilers, meaning at least 80% of the fuel would be coal – but their resource consent application makes it clear that coal is their preferred option.

Waimate locals and Coal Action Network activists make their statement in front of Fonterra's Studholme plant

Waimate locals and Coal Action Network activists make their statement in front of Fonterra’s Studholme plant

Fonterra love to trade on New Zealand’s “clean and green” image. They don’t want the world to know that their coal use has increased 38% since 2008. Yet rather than do something real about the problem by using wood waste instead of coal to fuel their new boilers, they prefer to bully their way through and hope no-one will notice.

But Fonterra needs resource consent for the planned expansion of its Studholme plant – and because that resource consent application has been publicly notified, you get the chance to tell Fonterra that in 2015, increasing our dependence on coal and our greenhouse gas emissions just isn’t on.

Please download and read our Quick Submission Guide (Word | PDF) and then submit now against Fonterra’s planned coal-fired Studholme expansion.  (Note: All 8 of the resource consent applications listed on this form relate to the Studholme expansion, so it’s simplest to choose all of them.)

Submissions close at 5pm on Friday 27 November – but why wait? Get your submission in today! And if you have any questions about the submissions process, please contact us on coalactionnetwork@gmail.com.

Fonterra Determined To Double Down On Coal – Tell Them That’s Not On

Too big to fail, too timid to change, or too arrogant to listen? You can form your own view on why Fonterra is determined to bet all our futures on coal, but there is no doubt that this is exactly what they plan to do.

Fonterra has made it very plain to Coal Action Network Aotearoa that they have no concrete plans to reduce their coal use any time soon and that growing the company is their bottom line – they appear to think that the environment is just a “nice to have”.

the first loser

Fonterra’s coal use has increased 38% since 2008. They are already New Zealand’s second-biggest coal user, and their determination to expand coal use further will only make its position even worse. We believe Fonterra will eventually recognise the error of their ways: the question is, how much more damage to our climate will they have done in the meantime?

But for now we’re asking nicely. Until 6 November, you can sign on to our open letter to Fonterra calling on them to commit to using no new coal. This is the first stage in our campaign to stop Fonterra becoming New Zealand’s greatest climate criminal. It won’t be the last.

Fonterra Uses More Coal Than Huntly Coal-Fired Power Station

Fonterra is now the second largest user of coal in New Zealand, using more coal than the Huntly coal-fired power station, according to our new research (see table below).

This highlights the company’s contribution to climate change and to New Zealand’s total emissions. And it’s why it’s time to Tell Fonterra: No New Coal.

Our coal use is bigger

Fonterra does not divulge its total coal burn, but this table, compiled by CANA from various mainly public sources, shows it is well over half a million tonnes a year and growing rapidly.

Even without the proposed huge new coal fired milk drier at Studholme, for which Fonterra  has just applied for consents, it uses more coal than the Huntly power station. With the new plant it would use more than 600,000 tonnes.

The Huntly coal-fired power station has the capacity to generate 480 MW of heat, compared with Fonterra’s combined generating capacity of 572.9 MW.

The largest coal user in New Zealand is the Glenbrook steel mill. The Huntly power station was second, but has now been overtaken by Fonterra.

“Fonterra’s use of coal, and its planned expansion, is simply unsustainable,” said CANA spokesperson Jeanette Fitzsimons. “The world is in transition away from coal as climate change starts to bite everywhere and the science tells us we must phase out fossil fuels by 2050. Fonterra is going rapidly in the other direction”.

These huge quantities of coal are used to generate heat to dry milk to milk powder, a low value commodity which is Fonterra’s main export.

The company has a number of alternatives. Wood-fired boilers are common in Europe, and New Zealand has large quantities of waste wood from forestry operations. There are wood fuel suppliers who collect and process this wood and deliver to boiler sites.

“Another smart strategy would be to invest in adding more value to less milk, with less coal burn and fewer cows generating more wealth for Fonterra, farmers and the country,” said Ms Fitzsimons.

As the world demands action on climate change and a shift to cleaner fuels, the risk to Fonterra’s brand in discerning markets like Europe will become a serious consideration.

While the world is working to move away from coal, the Government has done nothing to deter Fonterra’s use of the climate-changing fuel, testament to the fact that we have one of the weakest climate policies on the planet.

CANA is a volunteer group of citizens working to reduce the mining and burning of coal by opposing new and expanded mines and plans to burn more coal, while protecting the jobs that already exist.