Fonterra is yet again in the news for a product safety scare that has major international consequences for New Zealand. The initial problem has been compounded by Fonterra’s secretive and arrogant corporate culture. In the process, Fonterra have shown New Zealand’s already threadbare “100% Pure” branding to be transparently dishonest, as the Guardian has recently noted.
Another way Fonterra shows their arrogance is by continuing to choose to burn coal in the heat plants of their dairy factories, even when they have the option of using a renewable fuel – wood and wood waste – instead. In fact, Fonterra are New Zealand’s third largest domestic user of coal.
Later this month, a resource consent hearing will be held for a new coalmine Fonterra wants to open at Mangatawhiri, near Auckland, to fuel one of its dairy factories. They could use wood – but they choose to use coal.
Now, while Fonterra’s wrongdoing has been exposed and the company is on the defensive, is the right time to let the nation and the world know that Fonterra’s products aren’t just contaminated by dirty pipes – they are contaminated by Fonterra’s use of coal in its plants. Fonterra don’t like to listen – but at the moment, they don’t have much choice.
To find our more about Fonterra and coal, you can read Rosemary Penwarden’s eloquent post calling on Fonterra to do this right thing and quit coal.