Last week, a Greenpeace investigation revealed that New Zealand-based dairy giant Fonterra’s key supplier of palm kernel extract (PKE)—which Fonterra imports for supplementary animal feed—has links to massive rainforest deforestation in Indonesia. Photos taken by Greenpeace on a recent flyover show that Fonterra destroyed an area of forest twice the size of Paris in the region. The practice of clearing rainforest for palm plantations has been condemned for its effects on climate change and the loss of habitat of endangered animals such as the orangutan. After public outcry two years ago, Fonterra agreed to adopt an industry standard to ensure its use of PKE did not lead to deforestation. “The international reputation of [New Zealand’s] dairy industry is seriously on the line here and so are the world’s last remaining rainforests,” Greenpeace sustainable agriculture spokesperson Gen Toop said. “Fonterra’s attempts to get rainforest destruction out of their supply chain have clearly failed. They need to get out of PKE altogether.” Last month, the government of Brazil imposed a $29-million fine on a group of animal-agriculture feed suppliers after environmental organization Mighty Earth’s investigation revealed their involvement in destroying Brazil’s protected natural areas.
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