Tuesday, 27 April 2021 16:00

Fonterra's dilemma

Written by  Milking It

OPINION: The Chinese owners of Australia’s biggest and oldest dairy farming business are facing scrutiny from authorities and all eyes are on Fonterra.

Milk from the Van Dairy Group, which owns 23 farms in Tasmania is picked up by Fonterra.

Now media reports suggest the company could sell 10 farms as it struggles to clean up its act.

The Australian Environmental Protection Agency has launched an investigation into alleged animal abuse and overstocking of cattle, which it is alleged is causing effluent systems to fail and damaging nearby waterways.

A series of confidential documents, photographs and accounts from employees and locals appeared to show the conditions deteriorated after the 2016 takeover by China’s Moon Lake.

The big question is, given the highly competitive raw milk market in Australia, will Fonterra feel pressure to stop collecting milk from the farm until the farm owners tidy up their act?

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