Fonterra
Dairy product manufacturer
New Zealand's largest company. Fonterra is owned by almost 11,000 dairy farmers, some 95 per cent of all dairy farmers in New Zealand. It is presently the world's largest exporter of dairy products, exporting 95 percent of production to 140 countries.

Overall

Owned NZL
Rating C
About the Ratings
Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd
NZL

Company Assessment

Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd
Praise
In 2023, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change risk. Responding companies are scored across four key areas: disclosure; awareness; management; and leadership. This company received a CDP Climate Change score of A-.
Source: CDP (2023)
Member of The Packaging Council of New Zealand, a voluntary agreement to encourage waste minimisation.
The PalmOil Scan app, produced by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), rates companies on their commitment to sourcing sustainable palm oil. Companies are scored on their use of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO), commitment to sourcing CSPO, on-the-ground conservation action, and membership to the RSPO. Companies can earn a rating of Excellent, Good, Poor or No Commitment. This company is rated "Good" (retrieved 18 Nov 2023).
Source: WAZA (2023)
In 2023, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts to manage and govern freshwater resources. Responding companies are scored on six key metrics: transparency; governance & strategy; measuring & monitoring; risk assessment; targets & goals; and value chain engagement. This company received a CDP Water Security score of B.
Source: CDP (2023)
The 2021 Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) report ranks global food companies on how they are managing and reporting their farm animal welfare policies and practices. This company appeared in tier 3, "Established but work to be done", with tier 1 being the best, and tier 6 the worst.
The 2023 Food and Agriculture Benchmark assessed 350 keystone companies across the entirety of the food system, from farm to fork. It covers three dimensions where transformation is needed: nutrition, environment and social inclusion. This company ranked #25/350, with a total score of 41/100.
Criticism
Forest 500 identifies the 350 companies and 150 financial institutions with the greatest exposure to tropical deforestation risk, and annually assesses them on the strength and implementation of their deforestation and human rights commitments. This company received a score of 17%.
The Green Supply Chain Corporate Information Transparency Index (CITI) evaluates consumer-facing companies that have a sizeable supply chain in China. The evaluation uses government supervision data and public information to assess the environmental management of their supply chains in China. This company received a score of 15/100 (retrieved 24 Nov 2023).
Source: IPE (2023)
The livestock sector is the single largest contributor to man-made methane emissions. Even though rapid reductions of methane emissions are needed to slow the rate of global warming, the largest meat and dairy corporations are oblivious to the problem. Changing Markets' 2021 report 'Blindspot' investigated the policies and actions of 20 meat and dairy giants to reduce their methane emissions. This company scored 18.8/100 for their methane policy and actions.
Greenpeace's Reenergise campaign ranks Australia's biggest electricity using companies on their commitments and actions regarding renewable energy use. This company has: not committed to powering their operations by 100% renewable electricity by 2030; not signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) to buy power from a wind or solar project; not invested in on-site solar.
Information
A 2011 report by Greenpeace criticised Fonterra for using palm-based animal feed from cleared forests in Indonesia and Malaysia, making a significant contribution to the carbon footprint of its milk products. In 2016, after 7 years of campaigning by Greenpeace, Fonterra committed to using only responsible palm oil products. Greenpeace is calling on Fonterra to implement a full phase-out of palm-based animal feed. [https://bit.ly/2HmYIgS]
In July 2012 the New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority forced Fonterra to amend its website after complaints about five "misleading" health claims for its dairy products.
In April 2014 Fonterra was fined $A280,000, in charges over the 2013 whey protein contamination scare, which impacted New Zealand's reputation as a safe food exporter. At the time it was thought that 38 tonnes of whey protein concentrate had been contaminated with a botulism, which triggered a global recall. Testing later confirmed the scare was a false alarm. In June 2014 Fonterra was fined a further NZ$150,000 in related charges. Fonterra was also ordered to pay 105 million euros to French food giant Danone over the contamination scare.
This company is named and shamed in IBFAN's 2017 report, 'Breaking the Rules, Stretching the Rules 2017', evidence of violations of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (BMS), compiled from June 2014 to June 2017. The report covers 792 Code violations from 79 countries and by 28 companies. [Listed under Information due to age of report]
This company appeared sixth on RepRisk's top ten "Most Controversial Companies of 2013". Companies on the list were severely criticised during 2013 by the world's media, governments and NGOs. Criticisms of Fonterra included contaminated milk products, anti-competitive activities, and pollution in New Zealand. [Listed under Information due to age of report]
In 2013 China fined six companies, including this one, a total of $110 million following an investigation into price fixing and anti-competitive practices by foreign baby formula makers.
Fonterra and Nestle started a dairy products joint venture called Dairy Partners Americas in 2003, which operates in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, Ecuador and Colombia. Nestle is the target of a long-standing boycott call.
Some of the products this company sells are certified organic by AsureQuality
Some, but not necessarily all, of this company's spreads are palm oil free. For more details, follow the link to see Borneo Orangutan Survival Australia's list of products which manufacturers have told them are palm oil free or contain segregated certified sustainable palm oil.
This company is a signatory to the New Zealand-based Climate Leaders Coalition. Signatories have each committed to measuring, reporting and reducing their emissions, as well as working with their suppliers to reduce their emissions.
As listed on the We Mean Business website, this company has committed to the following climate action initiatives: adopt a science-based emissions reduction target.
This company is a member of the New Zealand-based Sustainable Business Council, signifying a commitment to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and build sustainability into their purchasing decisions. Members are required to introduce annual reporting practices, which outline their progress on environmental, social, governance and economic issues.
This company is a member of the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform, the main food industry initiative supporting the development of sustainable agriculture worldwide. Created by Nestle, Unilever and Danone in 2002, the SAI Platform is a non-profit organization to facilitate sharing, at precompetitive level, of knowledge and initiatives to support the development and implementation of sustainable agriculture practices involving the different stakeholders of the food chain.
In 2023, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts towards removing commodity-driven deforestation and forest degradation from its direct operations and supply chains. Responding companies are scored across four key areas: disclosure; awareness; management; and leadership. This company received a CDP Forests score of C.
Source: CDP (2023)
The Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index is a comprehensive assessment of how this sector is managing critical sustainability risks factors: GHGs; deforestation and biodiversity; water scarcity; water pollution; antibiotics; animal welfare; working conditions; food safety. This company was rated as medium risk.

Company Details

Type:
Co-operative
Revenue:
19 billion AUD (2019)
Employees:
20,000 (2019)
Subsidiaries:
Fonterra Oceania
Dairy
Fonterra merged its Australian and New Zealand businesses in 2024, creating Fonterra Oceania. Fonterra has eight Australian manufacturing sites in Victoria and Tasmania.

Contact Details

Address:
Auckland, New Zealand
Website:
www.fonterra.com

Products / Brands

Fonterra Oceania
Allowrie Butter & Margarine
Anchor Milk
Bodalla Cheese
Diploma Milk Powder
Ferndale Cheese
Girgar Butter & Margarine
Mainland Butter & Margarine
Mainland Cheese
Munchables Custard & Desserts
Munchables Cheese
Perfect Italiano Cheese
Supa Shake Flavoured Milk
Western Star Butter & Margarine