The role of dairy company policies in support of farm green infrastructure in the absence of government stewardship payments
Intensive dairy farming has substantial impacts on freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. Determining how to mitigate them while increasing production is driving the quest for sustainable milk production internationally. Green infrastructure (G.I.) provides private and public ecosystem services, including mitigation of farming environmental impacts. However, there are implementation barriers among farmers. New Zealand government supports farmer self-regulation as long as farmers meet environmental targets. Farmers are neither compensated for reducing environmental impacts, nor for setting aside G.I. in support of nature conservation. Dairy companies are under increasing pressure to ensure socially acceptable milk production practices among farmer suppliers. They may play a role in encouraging farmers to implement G.I. as a way of helping farmers meet regulatory compliance, and best farming practice. Using a content analysis of company policies, the role of dairy companies in encouraging G.I. among farmers is explored. Results indicate companies are concerned about the effects, and perception, of poor environmental farming practices on their profitability, and have developed some riparian G.I. policies, with government and farmer support. However, policies are farm-focused and are limited to one year, and thus lack the capacity to encourage G.I. in support of key ecosystem services, such as water cleansing and support for indigenous biodiversity that require landscape scaled networks and longer periods. Even at the farm scale, a majority of companies lack policies that encourage significant G.I. networks. Policies suggest companies, and by extension farmers, lack sufficient motivation to protect or restore them voluntarily. Under these conditions, significant G.I. is unlikely to develop under self-regulation, unless supplemented through motivating government stewardship payments.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsdairy company policies; green infrastructure; government stewardship payments; dairy farmers; Daily company policies; Urban & Regional Planning
- Metadata-only (no full-text) 
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.