Effluent management is not just about sticking to the rules, it's about taking care of the environment, says Paul Grave.

"It's not just about being compliant with standards anymore, it's actually about caring for our waterways and living up to the commitments that the co-operative has made to improve waterways."

Fonterra's Head of Farm Source Waikato spoke to The Country Early Edition's Rowena Duncum about how most farmers take effluent management very seriously, but some are letting the side down.

Listen below:

Grave says many of the farmers he has spoken to really care about the land and what condition they leave it in for future generations. However, a few farmers haven't made the changes needed, "and that's just not really good enough."

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Waikato Regional Council is cracking down on the stragglers and has recently started using aerial monitoring to help enforce effluent management. Grave says this is important not only for the environment but also for New Zealand dairy farmers' reputations.

"Probably the biggest complaint I get is from farmers who believe that ... their reputation and the reputation of the dairy industry as a whole has been compromised by people that are not complying with the new effluent requirements."

"There is a fair degree of support for tougher enforcement of the rules."

Also in today's interview: Paul Grave gives an update on what's happening in the Waikato region with Fonterra's farmers and the co-op's farm environmental plans.