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05 Better Outcomes  for Nature

Better Outcomes for Nature

Higher levels of biodiversity, soil health and water quality lead to more resilient farm systems, healthier animals and better milk. We’re incentivising more sustainable and restorative on-farm practices and exploring new systems such as regenerative farming with the aim of demonstrating that agriculture can be part of the solution to today’s environmental issues.

Better Outcomes for Nature

Regenerative Agriculture


We support regenerative and restorative farming practices: sequestering carbon, improving soil health and managing water, effluent, biodiversity, soil quality, energy and GHG emissions. 

Better Outcomes for Nature

Palm Free Milk


The palm oil industry has well-publicised links to global deforestation. A significant portion of our farmer suppliers have committed to remain palm (PKE) free. 

on farm planting of native seedlings
Better Outcomes for Nature



Whakapuawai is Synlait's ecosystem restoration programme. It connects our people, farmers and community through the planting of native seedlings.

Value Propositions

On-Farm Deforestation Policy Standard
Procure milk products from a supplier that has an on-farm deforestation policy.

Land use change has caused the decline of many of New Zealand’s indigenous ecosystems and species. To prevent further biodiversity loss, Synlait has implemented a new land conversion policy with our farmer suppliers. Purchasing Synlait products can help customers support their own deforestation commitments.

From June 2021 onwards, Synlait will only accept new or increased milk supply from farms that meet District Plan regulations and whose land has not been converted from:

High Carbon Stock (HCS)1 area such as a native forest, a High Conservation Value (HCV)2 area such as a native bush, a native tussock/grassland, a wetland or any protected area.

Minimal levels of conversion may be accepted if considered as having negligible impact, but will be reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis by Synlait and may be subject to remediation requirements. 

1. High Carbon Stock – Approach to distinguish forest areas from low carbon and biodiversity value land.
2. High Conservation Value – Areas comprising of biological, ecological, social or cultural values that are exceptionally significant at the national, regional or global level.

Palm Free Milk Tailored
Give consumers an opportunity to choose products with reduced deforestation risks.

Palm Kernel Expeller (PKE) is a derivative of the palm oil industry. It’s one of the most popular supplements fed to dairy cows in New Zealand due to its low cost compared to other types of feed and usefulness in filling short term pasture deficits.

However, because the palm oil industry has well-publicised links to global deforestation, biodiversity loss, soil degradation and reduced ability to sequester carbon[1], the use of palm oil and its derivatives is contentious.

According to the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil, an estimated 81% of the world’s global palm oil supply is not certified sustainable. This equates to just over 19 million tonnes that has been certified sustainable[2].

We believe in providing our customers (and their end-consumers) with the opportunity to choose to be palm free. The mechanism we use to do this is our on-farm sustainability programme, through which we financially incentivise farmer suppliers who remove PKE from their feed plans.

For complete transparency, all palm free farmer suppliers are audited annually and provide detailed documentation of feed management plans.

Whakapuāwai Tailored
Restore New Zealand ecosystems and reduce emissions with a customised planting programme.

In Māori, ‘whakapuāwai’ means to thrive and to blossom. At Synlait, this word refers to the ecosystem restoration programme we launched in December 2019.

Whakapuāwai is a sophisticated nursery and planting operation and a mechanism for customers to collaborate on revegetation projects — a valuable tool for restoring ecosystems and biodiversity, and sequestering carbon through on-farm planting to help meet GHG reduction targets.

Thanks to Whakapuāwai, we’ve put tens of thousands of plants in the ground in just a few years. We’ve begun planting 15 hectares of grazing land near Dunsandel and are working with our farmer suppliers to revegetate marginal land, restoring waterways and wetlands, and creating shelter and habitats for insects and birds on their farms.

For our customers, one of Whakapuāwai’s strength is the accurate reporting and monitoring of plant numbers, plant types and farm locations which can help customers meet their reforestation or biodiversity targets. We also aim to capture carbon sequestration from native planting in the future.


Regenerative Agriculture Tailored
Invest and accelerate the transition to regenerative agriculture.

Our customers and their consumers have rapidly shifting expectations when it comes to how we care for the planet. It’s our business to ensure agriculture and industry contribute to a better world.

Regenerative agricultural practices have the greatest potential impact to rebuild soil health and sequester carbon, increase biodiversity, and conserve water, and make farms more resilient to extreme climate events.

We are currently participating in a five-year pilot study with AgResearch New Zealand to measure soil health improvements, comparing the effects of conventional versus regenerative agriculture practices on the economic and environmental performance of farms.

Because we believe in the great potential of regenerative agriculture as a climate solution, we are also working with the SAI Platform on the development of a global regenerative agriculture framework.

In addition to this, we are providing opportunities for customers to collaborate and co-invest in on-farm trials. Should customers have their own regenerative agriculture framework, we can explore how it could be applied to our New Zealand pastoral farming system. These trials are a key step to accelerate regenerative agriculture and help our customers meet their regenerative agriculture targets within their supply chain.

The Made With Better Milk value propositions are continually evolving as consumer expectations and corporate priorities change. We aim to work with our customers on the development of the programme and we have identified additional value propositions that aren’t captured on this page. Please reach out to us directly to discuss you individual requirements.

We’ve classified the value propositions either as ‘standard’ or ‘tailored’.

STANDARD Standard value propositions are those that already exist – things we already do - and that may be of interest to our customers, for use in their corporate or brand communications.

TAILORED Tailored value propositions are those that we can co-develop with our customers. This could be in the form of tailored new product development or collaborative projects on farm or on site.

Other Key Categories

01 Better Health  & Nutrition

Better Health & Nutrition

02 Better Animal  Wellbeing

Better Animal

03 Better Support  for People &  Livelihood Creation

Better Support for People & Livelihoods

04 Better Climate  Outcomes

Better Climate

06 Better Waste  Reduction &  Packaging

Better Waste & Packaging Circularity

07Better Product  Safety & Quality

Better Product
Safety & Quality

08 Better  Transparency  & Provenance

Better Transparency
& Provenance