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Fonterra is trialling wood pellets at its Te Awamutu site in a bid to move away from using coal.

Fonterra Chief Operating Officer for Global Operations Robert Spurway told The Country Early Edition's Rowena Duncum that the trial has been "quite successful".

"It's one of the ways that we've identified that we can reduce our carbon emissions".


If the trial becomes a permanent fixture, Fonterra will reduce emissions by about 84,000 tonnes a year said Spurway.

Listen below:

"That's equivalent to taking about 18,500 cars off the road".

Spurway said Fonterra has set both short and long term targets aiming to reduce carbon emissions by 30 per cent by 2030, and net zero by 2050.

"To do that we are going to have to innovate ... and the wood pellet trial at Te Awamutu is just one of those ways to challenge what we do now and it's fantastic to see that it worked quite successfully".

Also in today's interview: Spurway talks about other ways Fonterra is trying to reduce emissions and the co-op's farmers that are in the running for the Ballance Farm Environmental Awards national title.