World Dairy Summit’s focus on sustainability set to be challenged

Friday 5 November, for immediate release.  See below for invite to press conference on Monday 8th Nov.

The ‘Coalition Against the World Dairy Summit’ (CAWDS) will be exposing the true cost of current dairy practices with a series of demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience when industry leaders from around the world meet at Skycity next week in order to discuss growth and sustainability with regard to intensive dairy farming.

The coalition, made up of grassroots animal rights and climate change groups, formed to actively oppose the World Dairy Summit and raise public awareness about what is wrong with the corporate dairy model. As New Zealand’s largest and powerful dairy entity and platinum sponsor for the event, Fonterra will play a substantial role at the summit and therefore will also come under scrutiny.

Spokesperson for CAWDS, Claire Dann states “the dairy industry is responsible for animal rights abuses, increasing climate change, jeopardising human health and putting profit first before human and animal livelihoods. This is why when the industry leaders come together for the World Dairy Summit  we intend to send them a strong message letting them know that this intensive dairy model has no place in our futures.”

Regarding the treatment of cows, the public would be shocked to know the suffering that goes into their milk and cheese. A spokesperson for coalition member Animal Freedom Aotearoa, Jasmine Gray, comments “the dairy industry treat cows as machines to convert grass into milk, rather than as sentient beings capable of pain and emotional distress. Dairy cows are made pregnant every year to maintain the milk supply; the calves that result are seen as a waste product and are taken away from their mother within 24 hours of birth and often slaughtered. This process is repeated annually until the dairy cows themselves are slaughtered. Their life span goes from 20 to 5 years because of this focus on quick milk production, without the bat of an eye.”

Coalition member  Climate Camp, see Fonterra’s stranglehold over our government and the corporate dairy model it enforces both in New Zealand and overseas one of the primary reasons why New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions continue to soar. Spokesperson Gary Cranston says “industrial dairying is responsible for over half of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, specifically in the form of methane released by the cows themselves, and nitrous oxide from chemicals used to top dress soil. Meanwhile, farmers all over the world are threatened by corporate agriculture, which pushes for false solutions like genetically engineered animals and plants, and soil based carbon trading instead of taking responsibility for the damage they are causing to our climate”.

As well as demonstrations and actions every day of the four day Summit in Auckland, solidarity events are also set to take place in Wellington and Taranaki, evidence of the growing concern towards the industry and people’s dissatisfaction with governmental leadership to address the problems it creates.

“Those involved with the corporate style dairying represented at the summit will be doing a great job of painting a nice happy picture of milk production and environmental harmony, but the public need to know that in reality there is immense animal suffering, contaminated waterways, increasing levels of climate changing gases and whole new markets being sold milk for its so called ‘health benefits’. We encourage people to find out more about where their milk comes from and join us in opposing the summit and the intensive dairy industry it represents” concludes Dann.


for more information visit:

Schedule for demonstrations co-ordinated by CAWDS:

Monday 8th Nov:
8am – 10.30am outside Skycity
WELLINGTON: 12 noon:  rally starting at the bucket fountain in Cuba Mall, then marching to Fonterra’s offices in Vodafone House at Midland Park

Tuesday 9th Nov:
8am – 9am outside Skycity
11.30 – onwards rally outside Skycity

Wednesday 10th Nov:

8am – 9am outside Skycity
12.00 noon – Office demo at the Gold Sponsor Orica
Where: 123 Carlton Gore Road, New Market

Thursday 11th Nov:
8am – 9am outside Skycity

More about the key coalition members:

Animal Freedom Aotearaoa: A national grassroots animal rights group who have several campaigns as well as having an investigation group who document the conditions on farms and in slaughterhouses within Aotearoa.

Climate Camp:  Climate Camp Aotearoa seeks to address the real causes of climate change and build a people’s movement that can and will stop disastrous climate change.


Posted on 9 November, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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