Investing for a positive future

As part of its innovation strategy, Craigmore Sustainables says it is working with emerging technology innovators across sustainability, people, animals and business management to improve New Zealand’s dairy sector.

The company says it invests in programs designed to help both business and industry maximize opportunities and address challenges.

The sustainability work includes improving water quality, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing biodiversity. This includes work to support endangered species.

Craigmore’s general manager of agriculture, Stuart Taylor, says the company feels it has a responsibility to invest back into the New Zealand dairy sector.

“As a company with scale, we can leverage expertise from multiple disciplines and be an early adopter of technology to create space for other dairy farmers to adopt new solutions,” says Taylor.

“With 22 farms in New Zealand and co-ownership of other farms, we can spread the cost and risk of trying new things. We are willing to do anything to help farmers and the industry move forward.”

Craigmore is working on a plan to share important lessons with other farmers. As a fifth-generation dairy farmer, Taylor believes there is nothing more important to New Zealand agriculture than continuing to run successful businesses to contribute to the local economy and local communities, while becoming even more sustainable into the future.

Unique environmental work is underway, including protecting the Canterbury Mudfish (a small native freshwater fish) and increasing the number of endangered native skinks.

“Our agri-environmental plans are tailored to each farm and outline the ways we can continue to reduce our environmental footprint,” says Taylor.

“This includes planting native trees and plants, which helps increase biodiversity and attract native birds. We plant along waterways, which helps improve water quality and provide shade for fish and insects.”

The company’s strategy also focuses on testing new solutions to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including new feeds and nature-based solutions.

The company is also piloting EcoPond, a breakthrough methane reduction technology, a first for the New Zealand dairy industry.

Taylor says Craigmore’s 400-hectare Glen Eyre dairy farm in Oxford, North Canterbury, is the first commercial dairy farm in New Zealand to use EcoPond, a wastewater treatment system that removes virtually all the methane emitted from wastewater ponds with an additive normally used in the treatment. of drinking water.

The cutting-edge technology at the farm, which milks 1,100 cows, is the result of a partnership between Ravensdown and Lincoln University.

Taylor is one of 400 environmentally focused farmers in the Dairy Environment Leaders (DEL) network, founded by farmers, DairyNZ and the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust in 2007. The network aims to strengthen leadership and create opportunities to grow on farm support and share measures to reduce the ecological footprint.

“Craigmore farm managers participate in local catchment groups wherever possible and support community initiatives to reduce their environmental footprint,” says Taylor.