Our expert witness Peter Fraser testified at the hearing on Fonterra’s consent application for a huge new milk drying plant at Studholme that there would be insufficient milk to run it. He calculated that more than half a million new cows would be needed to supply the plant.  Part way through the process Fonterra changed its application to downsize the plant by half. Even this would have required more than a quarter million new cows, and since then cow numbers have decreased and milk supply has dropped.

CANA has said repeatedly that our analysis is that the plant will never be built. There is no incentive to expand dairying, especially irrigated dairying, at a milk price less than $6.50/kg MS. At that price there are lower cost producers overseas ready to move into the market ahead of us.

Last week Auckland Coal Action’s very effective and funny action Stop the Greenwash outside Fonterra’s head office led to a visit from their PR staff, one of whom told them the coal-guzzling Studholme would not be built for lack of milk.


We wish we could have saved those hard working farmers the millions their company put into the planning process for a consent they don’t need. Peak milk anyone?

But while Fonterra may have bailed out on their Studholme plans, they are still the company most responsible for keeping the New Zealand coal industry afloat. That’s why the CANA Summerfest, January 2017 is being held in Ashburton in mid-Canterbury, right in Fonterra’s heartland, where the connection between dairying’s rampant appetite for water, its rampant appetite for coal, and its contribution to the alarming growth in methane emissions is very evident.

Registrations are now open – email coalactionnetwork@gmail.com if you’re interested in attending, and we’ll get back to you with registration details very soon!