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It's been a great start to the season but there's still a "long way to go" says Judith Swales.

Fonterra Chief Operating Officer for Global Consumer and Foodservice told The Country Early Edition's Rowena Duncum that the co-op's milk collection for the first month of the 2019/20 season was at 14.4 million kilograms of milk solids.

"Remember it's still very early in the season and this is only a small percentage of our forecast for the full year. But always good to get off to a great start" said Swales.

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Meanwhile Fonterra farmers were also performing strongly when it came to maintaining water quality said Swales.

"Our farmers are making great progress to improve and protect nearby waterways - it's core to what we do".

One way to improve waterways is with a Farm Environment Plan which documents and manages on-farm risks and is tailor-made for each individual farm.

Swales said so far 23 per cent of Fonterra farmers had one of these plans.

"I think we're going to see a really good improvement again over this coming year, and it all comes back to our new strategy ... which involves having sustainability at the heart of everything that we do".

Also in today's interview: Swales talked about a new product launched by Anchor Food Professionals which combined Chinese pastry with Western-style cheese.