The Green Party is calling on the Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor to phase out the use of the Palm Kernel Expeller (PKE) on farms to help address the climate crisis.
“Supplementary livestock feed like PKE is fuelling an increase in climate polluting emissions from agriculture. Labour needs to phase out its use as part of an ambitious plan to ensure agriculture contributes fully towards meeting our climate targets,” says Green Party Agriculture spokesperson Teanau Tuiono.
In an open letter published today, the Green Party says phasing out the use of PKE and Palm Kernel Meal will help cut emissions from agriculture and ensure Aotearoa is not linked to rainforest destruction overseas.
“Farming and growing well is more important than ever to help local communities and protect the climate. For decades, successive governments have treated farms like factories – and the use of PKE has made this much worse by encouraging dirty, intensive agriculture that harms the planet.
“Most New Zealanders would be surprised to learn that as a result of these big industrial processes, the milk they put on their cereal or in their morning cup of coffee is, in many cases, linked to the destruction of tropical forests. Forests that are home to unique and threatened species like the orangutan.
“But the use of PKE doesn’t just worsen the climate crisis through the destruction of rainforests to create palm plantations. It also provides cheap feed for intensive high-emission farming in Aotearoa. PKE enables big industrial farming companies to sustain higher numbers of cows than locally grown feed sources can provide for. Phasing out the use of PKE once and for all will be good for farmers, good for communities, and good for the planet.
“The Green Party has always put the protection of the climate and local communities first. Which is why today we are asking people to stand with us and urge the Government to phase out of the use of PKE.
“Now is not the time for half measures. Phasing out the use of PKE is exactly the type of action Labour Minsters needs to be taking to bring emissions down in line with what the science demands,” says Teanau Tuiono.