The New Zealand dairy industry has been attacked by Greenpeace and the Green Party which accused it of helping destroy tropical rainforests by importing huge quantities of palm kernel for cattle feed, according to recent reports in


Agra Europe Weekly. New Zealand is said to have increased palm kernel imports from 408 tonnes in 1999 to 455,000 tonnes last year. Reports were that 185,000 tonnes had been imported in the first quarter of this year as the much of the country suffered drought and some traders were estimating as much as 700,000 tonnes could be brought in this year. Greenpeace accused the dairy sector of environmental irresponsibility and called on it to end palm kernel imports, saying the practice was extremely damaging to New Zealand's clean, green reputation. Andrew Gillanders, Federated Farmers' grains and seeds chairman, agreed, saying the kernels competed with local maize silage production. But Federated Farmers' president Charlie Pedersen said there was not enough supplementary feed available locally and dairy farmers needed the imports.