Our climate aspirations are bold – Craigmore seeks to materially exceed the targets set by the Climate Change Commission through land use change and changes to existing operations.
Craigmore strives to grow healthy and safe products while protecting and enhancing animal welfare, biodiversity, soil and water. We recognise that farming, horticulture and forestry play an important role in both contributing to and mitigating climate change. We are committed to making a positive difference.
We aim to reduce net GHG emissions by 50% by 2030
Reduction in dairy GHG emission intensity by 2035
A verified net-zero dairy farm by 2035
Methane reduction of 10% by 2030
Craigmore puts land use change and operational practices at the core of decision making when seeking to reduce emissions and minimise environmental impact.
Our specific climate goals are to achieve:
We can contribute by measuring and reducing GHG emissions, establishing native plantings on our properties, planting new forests, responsible land use change and partnering with industry groups, leaders and universities to demonstrate a viable pathway to net-zero.
Erosion and reduced biological health reduce the soil’s ability to sustainably generate productive crops and, in some instances, farmland has been abandoned due to erosion and a loss of fertility.
Craigmore already undertakes a range of careful soil protection measures, such as erosion protection plantings, no-tillage re-grassing, and balanced fertiliser plans that include both synthetic and biological products.
Our next focus is on deploying tools that can systematically measure soil health in a more holistic sense that captures both nutrient availability, soil carbon and biological health.
The most important action is to ensure land use is appropriate for the site, including mapping out areas with high erosion risk and planting them in erosion-reducing vegetation, such as trees and native shrubs.
The availability, quality and biological health of freshwater is a global issue which is growing in importance as the climate changes, and demand for high quality food and fibre increases.
The focus in New Zealand, with high and consistent rainfall and relatively small landmass, is on local water quality for human use (consumption and recreation) and the biological health of waterways, rather than on absolute water availability. Improvements can often be made to reduce both the sedimentation of waterways caused by erosion and nutrient loss to aquifers, streams and rivers.
Craigmore is committed to developing innovative ways to improve water use efficiency and manage local impacts on water quality. We use a number of metrics to analyse our performance with regards to water, the most quantitative of these is nitrogen losses to below the root zone.
We are improving water use across our orchards and vineyards with the use of dripline technology. Above ground driplines use 10-15% less water, compared to sprinkler systems, by delivering a precise application to the base of the plant. Our current managed orchards, when fully developed, will be irrigated with 55% above-ground dripline, 30% sub-surface dripline and 10% sprinkler systems, while 5% of orchards are not expected to be irrigated.
In addition to being of intrinsic value, native biodiversity contributes to ecosystem services for agriculture and horticulture, as well as the recreational and cultural wealth of Aotearoa New Zealand and te ao Māori.
Craigmore is committed to protecting and enhancing biodiversity through minimising practices which harm ecosystems; and enhancing and protecting native areas. Our biodiversity policies include:
Where pest control methods are initiated on Craigmore properties, efforts are made to minimise the negative impacts on the environment, other animals, crops, property and people.
Enhancing biodiversity is also an important way that Craigmore can support long-term Māori customary use of the land. This could include supporting populations of tuna (eels) and kōura (freshwater crayfish) and other treasured natural resources (taonga).
We are responsible for the wellbeing of our stock, from birth to beyond the farm gate. New Zealand is a leader in animal welfare globally, being one of the first countries to enshrine animal sentience into law in August 2015. New Zealand enjoys a climate that allows livestock to be outside for 12 months of the year.
These effectively ‘free-range’, predominately grass-fed, dairy farming systems are much less intensive than most northern hemisphere systems, which involve partial or permanent housing of livestock.
Accordingly, the average standard of animal welfare in New Zealand, measured in terms of death rate and fertility rate of our herds, is very low compared to global comparators.
All Craigmore farming operations align to the new standard of animal welfare with the Five Freedoms which measure and promote wellbeing across five realms: freedom from hunger and thirst; freedom from discomfort; freedom from pain, injury or disease; freedom to express normal behaviour; and freedom from fear and distress. Each of these targets the overall condition and well-being of the herd.
Herd monitoring which includes death rate percentage and six-week in-calf rates provides additional data points.