By Mark Piper, Fonterra’s director for category, strategy and innovation




It was exciting to see Fonterra launching New Zealand’s first carbon zero milk, Simply Milk. It means Kiwis can now enjoy milk knowing they’re also helping the environment.

As well as a first for New Zealand, Simply Milk is also the first carbon zero milk in the southern hemisphere, and one of just a handful in the world.

Available in New World, PAK’nSAVE and Four Squares in the North Island, the carbon zero milk is a collaboration between New Zealand Co-operatives – Fonterra and Foodstuffs North Island.

It’s a great example of Fonterra putting sustainability at the heart of everything it does. While the Co-operative’s research and development arm is working on ways to continue to improve our sustainability on-farm, Simply Milk shows we’re also achieving it in the customer space.

Watch the Simply Milk video here.

We have a range of sustainability projects on the go but some of these will take time and potentially new technology. In the meantime, Simply Milk is something we can do immediately to help the environment – it’s a small step but one that will help New Zealand do its bit to tackle climate change.

Simply Milk allows Fonterra to support the regeneration of 7.5 square kilometres of native forest near Kaikoura, as well as renewable energy programmes in overseas markets where Fonterra sells its products.

Our partners in Simply Milk, Foodstuffs North Island, say it’s becoming increasingly important to consumers to know where their food comes from and that it’s being produced sustainably.

So when people buy a bottle of Simply Milk they know their choice is making a difference to something that’s really important to them.

Simply Milk has been certified carbon zero through the purchase of carbon credits from Toitū Envirocare, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, a Government-owned Crown Research Institute.   The carbon credits relate to projects undertaken both here in New Zealand and overseas and have been used to offset the carbon emissions of making Simply Milk.

First, Toitū evaluate the carbon emissions of making Simply Milk, right from the farm via store fridge to the customer’s home – the footprint includes farming, production, distribution as well as eventual consumption and disposal.

The goal of reaching net zero by 2050 requires all New Zealand businesses to start measuring and reducing their emissions. And while being low carbon at every step of the production chain will take time, Fonterra and Foodstuffs North Island are demonstrating it’s possible to take meaningful action now.

Mark Piper is Fonterra’s director for category, strategy and innovation and has been with the co-operative for more than 20 years in different parts of the business. He leads Fonterra’s Palmerston North-based Research and Development Centre (FRDC) – home to more than 350 researchers, engineers, nutritionists and scientists from 46 different countries, with more 4,500 years of combined dairy experience.


The information and opinions within this column are not necessarily the views or opinions of Hot Source, NZ Food Technology or the parent company, Hayley Media.