A blossoming eco-initiative for Synlait farms 

Whakapuāwai means ‘to cause to blossom, develop, flourish, prosper and thrive’.

It’s designed to connect people, to improve water quality, restore biodiversity and re-establish mahinga kai – places and natural resources culturally important to Māori.

In 2018, Synlait set some audacious environmental targets and committed to initiatives that will reduce our impact on the planet. Within these initiatives Whakapuāwai flourished - an environmental programme with a large-scale native plant nursery at its heart. The nursery sits on a 15-hectare site at Synlait Dunsandel. It allows us to grow native trees and shrubs to regenerate native ecosystems, waterways, wetlands, flora, and fauna on our milk suppliers’ farms.

At Synlait we work with farmers who supply our milk to identify areas on each farm that will benefit most from restoration. We focus on planting waterways and wetlands to create the biggest impact. Selected farm suppliers are given plants free from our very own Whakapuāwai nursery.

To help with planting efforts, our staff from Synlait Dunsandel and Pokeno spend two half days a year contributing to the Whakapuāwai initiative. In our 2021 planting season, more than 40,000 plants went into the ground and 81 Canterbury farms used our natives. Not only does this mean more trees in the ground, but our staff get out into their communities, help restore their ecosystems, blossom biodiversity, and re-establish mahinga kai.  

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