Pāmu Promise

At Pāmu, we’ve spent 130 years getting to know nature.

We are Kaitiakitanga – guardians – of nature. The care and respect of nature’s lands, animals and people comes first in everything we do.

As creators of the finest natural food since 1886, we are transforming the way food is produced, naturally, with passion, curiosity and innovative fresh thinking.

That is our Pāmu Promise to you.

Natural reflects the fundamentals of how we farm – plentiful sunshine, abundant rain and clean air. It means a commitment to all-grass farming all year round, supported by fresh crops grown by us. We never feed imported ingredients like palm kernel expeller (PKE), synthetic or artificial feed, GMO or antibiotics. Our animals are free roaming, foraging for food in open spaces as nature intended.

Our people are innovators.

Their flair for clever thinking leads to new ways to bring out the most desirable qualities in our food and fibre products with minimal processing and no need for artificial flavours or additives. With passion, curiosity and fresh thinking, we are transforming the way food and fibre is produced.

We take the lead in forging valuable partnerships from farm to plate.

We connect direct with customers working back from what they want. We work out a way to deliver. The right cut, the best flavour, a stronger staple – or simply the ability to trace our products to their source.

Our reputation as natural innovators is reflected in our commitment to looking out for one another, taking care of our animals, protecting the environment and delivering products for our customers with provenance they can trust.

A commitment to guardianship, conservation and sustainability we know as kaitiakitanga.

Animal Welfare and Winter Grazing

Winter grazing (including wintering on crops) is used in New Zealand pastoral farming systems to ensure animals have access to feed at a time of the year when pasture growth is limited, and pasture management of wetter areas of the farm is challenging, however our animals always have access to feed (such as swedes, kale, fodder beet and rape).

Addressing the impacts of intensive winter grazing (IWG) is an issue that Pāmu continues to be very focused on, and we have made many adjustments over the last few years.  While we still have work to do, IWG of crops is already well below the maximum levels that would require a resource consent under the proposed Fresh Water reforms, with less than 3% of our total land area having IWG status at any one time.

We achieved a 12.5% reduction in winter cropping over the last two years (2018 – 2020), but we can always do better and have committed to make a further 30% reduction in our already low level of IWG by 2023, that will see nil winter crop on many of our properties. Our animals will also benefit from this continuous improvement. We will be especially focussed on the most climatically challenging areas for pasture-only farming and will be seeking a 55% reduction in the use of intensively grazed winter crops area on the West Coast by 2023, Canterbury by 60% and our Otago farms by 35%. This represents significant reductions across all three regions. 

An important part of our approach to improvement will be supporting our staff with the knowledge and tools to make the changes. We have developed a range of support tools for our staff, including a phone app to help our farm managers make smart choices with respect to paddocks, crop species and grazing. We have made this app available to the wider farming community and are keen to learn more from the experience of other farmers and latest science trials, especially cash crops to reduce areas of bare soil.

It is unrealistic to expect New Zealand farmers to eliminate IWG when the strength of our farming systems is outdoors controlled grazing of pastures. The recent taskforce on IWG chartered a pragmatic way forward for the sector and a link to their recommendation can be found here

Just as our farms adjusted to the elimination of Palm Kernel Extract (PKE) in 2017, we are making ongoing changes now to significantly reduce the effects of IWG. Pāmu has independent verification of the company’s animal welfare practices, including our grazing practices. Over the last two years Pāmu have engaged a visionary vet group involving the SPCA, the NZ Vet Association, and leading vets to help guide our care of our animals. Across all our properties audits take place where Vets check various animal welfare metrics and report up to Pāmu management if any issues are raised. None of our farmers want their animals experiencing prolonged muddy conditions without dry rest areas, but extreme weather events over which we do not have full control can sometimes conspire against even the best IWG plans.

Environment

We take our role as guardians of the land seriously, and are leading the way in protecting and enhancing our environment for future generations. A commitment to guardianship and conservation known to Māori as kaitiakitanga.

The lands and waterways of New Zealand are precious, and we are committed to protecting them. We believe that environmentally sound farming practices create the highest quality natural products.

Our whole operation is founded on this belief, with strategies to ensure environmental considerations are an integral part of all steps in the Pāmu journey – from pasture to plate.

PROTECTING THE LAND

Pāmu has so far protected more than 16,000 hectares of high-value conservation land under covenants with the Department of Conservation, the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust and other bodies. The areas include bush, wetlands, streams and ponds. We’re continuing to add more covenants to protect high-value conservation land across our farms.

CARBON ON OUR FARMS

We are reducing emissions as best we can, year on year. Our carbon footprint is subject to expert measurement, including emission offset from our 8,500 hectares of forestry. The whole agri-sector faces a challenge in terms of our emissions - we want to join other agri-leaders in working towards a sustainable, carbon free future.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENTS

We conduct Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) annually on each Pāmu farm. This industry-first tool identifies those areas on each farm that have the biggest impact on our environmental stewardship. The assessments cover farm nutrient management, farm effluent management, land management (soil protection, waterway protection, biodiversity support), as well as farm productivity and efficiency. Findings from the EIAs inform annual business planning objectives and goals for each farm, enabling us to assess and improve our environmental performance and ultimately our productivity on a continual basis.

ENVIRONMENTAL REFERENCE GROUP

We have established an Environmental Reference Group (ERG) to help guide our rejuvenation strategy. Its members are six of the country’s leading primary sector experts across a range of fields. We’re working together to adapt our farm systems and adopt new technologies in our more sensitive farming regions.

ENVIRONMENTAL REFERENCE GROUP MEMBERS
  • Marnie Prickett (Chairperson)
  • Naomi Aporo
  • Dr Bruce Campbell
  • Tom Kay
  • Sally Lee
  • Helen Marr

Farming Innovation

Our heritage is rich and we recognise that years of farming has got us where we are today. But producing the highest quality natural products isn’t about doing what we’ve always done. We’re inventive by nature – fresh thinking and pushing the boundaries come naturally.

FARM IQ

We use the FarmIQ management software across all our farms. The software enables easy recording and reporting to run farms, and covers analysis and compliance requirements. This platform is playing a significant role in our business today and its use will evolve more widely as the new digital age of agriculture progresses.

RURAL CONNECT PROJECT

All our farm offices will have their internet connection upgraded in 2018 through the Rural Connect Project. Maintaining our administrative systems and technology is important to make sure our business keeps running smoothly. We are upgrading our digital infrastructure to improve the speed and reliability of internet connection to our farms and offices across the country.

RESILENT FARMING

We continue to look at modifications to our farm systems that best work with each farm’s natural capital and our people who live on those farms. This starts with a focus on our soils and the surrounding environment to uphold our value of kaitiakitanga.

Organic Farms

Our approach to organic farming is setting the standard for premium natural foods that are healthier for consumers and the environment.

We take a holistic view towards organic farming to make sure every aspect of our processes – from the fertiliser to the feed – meets strict standards. Our organic farms are free of antibiotics, pesticides or synthetic fertilisers.

Each of our Pāmu organic farms undergoes a robust certification process to verify credentials. We’re open about how we run things and guarantee the traceability and origin of our products.

Exceptionally high quality, absolutely natural and with proven provenance – that’s our promise.

We are proud to be a member of Organics Aotearoa New Zealand.

Organics Aotearoa New Zealand

Health And Safety

Safety will always be at the heart of the way we operate.

Nothing is more important than making sure everyone on our team gets home safely every night. The wellbeing of our people is our clear priority; and we have programmes and systems in place to make sure safe behaviour is embedded in everything we do. We continue to lead the agricultural sector with our health and safety standards, while delivering the highest quality natural products.