The purpose of this research was to quantify how dairy farmers believed their practices contributed to (or harmed) NewZealand’s “clean and green” image. Dairy farmers (n=350) from eight regions of New Zealand were surveyed by mail.The majority of respondents (n=218) were mainly male (88%), older than 40 years (65%) and owner-operators (45%) orsharemilkers (31%). Some 81% thought New Zealand dairy farming deserved its “clean and green” image, 90% said thisimproved the marketing of New Zealand dairy products internationally, and 72% believed consumer perceptions of farmingpractices did affect their purchase decisions. The farming practices most strongly associated with a negative impact on the“clean and green” image of dairying were: cows in muddy paddocks (81% farmers), induction (71%), bobby calves by theroadside (62%) and tail docking (59%). Enhancers of the image were pasture grazing by cows (87%) and being outdoorsyear round (62%). The majority of farmers believed larger herds (80%), bloat drenching (79%), dehorning (65%), intensivefertiliser use (65%), effluent disposal (58%) and use of antibiotics (53%) to have no effect on the “clean and green” image.Concerns were expressed that a small group of farmers with poor management practice could seriously affect the industry’s image.

R, Billones, WJ Parker, and D Kuiper

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 60, Hamilton, 222-225, 2000
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