Who better to speak openly and honestly on behalf of our waterways as part of Landcorp’s new Environmental Reference Group than Dr Mike Joy. Landcorp’s October announcement that it had brought together a number of primary sector experts across a range of fields was music to our ears.
When we asked Mike about progress so far, he was optimistic, but his comments highlighted that initiatives raised have been a trade-off between what’s right for the environment and cost. “We’ve had four day-long meetings, which at times have been tense, but are getting better... Everything has to go back to the board; for example Landcorp was receptive to the idea of not feeding palm kernel expeller (PKE) to stock, but when they did the sums they realised they would lose profit if they stopped. Since the subsequent drop in milk price it is likely to be advantageous not to feed palm kernel, so they very likely wish they had dropped it.” On the forestry to dairy conversions in Wairakei: “Landcorp is way ahead on environmental sustainability compared to its neighbours in Wairakei. Unfortunately Landcorp does not own the land at issue, and are tied into a contract which they are trying to review. It’s about leading the pack on environmental sustainability and being better off as a result.”