In an effort to show New Zealanders how Fonterra are tackling water quality, 40 farms around the country will open their gates to the public on 10 December.
The campaign is designed to give Kiwis the opportunity to check out what goes on behind the farm gate.
In the 45-second TVC, farmers speak to the camera about the sorts of things they are doing to help improve waterways—including investing in innovation, planting and managing nitrogen—as well as encouraging the public to visit.
Miles Hurrell, chief operating officer-Fonterra Farm Source, says the event is a great opportunity for people who don’t usually get out to the country.
“A lot of Kiwis don’t have the chance to see what farms are all about and we’d like to help fix that. Our farmers put a huge amount of effort into the land and waterways, and we wanted to let New Zealanders see it for themselves,” says Hurrell.
“Our farmers deeply care for this country and its future. They’re looking forward to telling their story and meeting the families who come and visit.”
Hurrell told the New Zealand Herald there was now a greater focus on water quality by the public, and he acknowledged the part that dairying had played in its decline.
Fonterra said it would spend $250 million at its 26 manufacturing sites with the aim of reducing water consumption by 20 percent. It would also double the number of advisers to help farmers develop a tailored farm environment plan.
The co-operative has already announced a plan to restore 50 key water catchments across New Zealand and has launched a programme to find new solutions for sustainable farming and healthy waterways.
Water quality was a big issue at September’s general election, and a recent article from The Economist says government data suggests 60 percent of rivers and lakes in New Zealand are unswimmable due to pollution from dairy farming.