Fonterra failures cause Māori to diversify

By Taroi Black

Fonterra's latest net loss of $605 million means that one Māori farm is diversifying into industrial hemp and sheep milk products.

Kokako Trust chairperson Gloria Koia, whose trust manages three dairy farms on a total of 1400 ha of land in Putaruru, says they do not agree with the outcome, however, change is in the air.

“People not knowing what is really going on but it’s up to shareholders to ask those hard questions. 

“It’s up to us as trustees to make sure that our workers, our people understand the importance of looking after the environment.”

Kokako Trust turns over $1.1 million a year with beef dairy. However, the need for an effective change to ensure sustainability in their business has come off the back of securing a license to develop future projects such as growing hemp oil.  

The Trust also generates manuka honey from their local farm and is looking into other prospects of producing sheep milk from their dry stock which they claim will make significant changes for their business.

Koia knows that any changes must be carefully planned, “We will do it all in research so we know we get the figures right".