SUSTAINABILITY

We take sustainability very seriously and its something we are constantly working on, we want our carbon footprint to be as small as possible, so we are making as many changes as we can to reduce our impact on the environment. This has included purchasing a larger hybrid delivery truck. This not only allows us to run on electric and bio diesel but the larger size truck now cuts down the amount of trips we have to make. Our other vehicles are also running on bio diesel which is made from used cooking oil collected from restaurants around New Zealand. All our cardboard waste is recycled and where we can we only use carbon neutral products. Our packaging tape is made from plant derived eucalyptus pulp which is from renewable and sustainably managed forests. It is degradable unlike other packaging tapes. We made the change to using only Gorilla Conservation Coffee in our staff cafe. Gorilla Conservation Coffee pays a premium price to coffee farmers living next to gorillas around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Supporting local farmers helps protect the critically endangered gorillas and their fragile habitat. Our office paper waste is recycled by turning it into shredding and is then used by Orana Wildlife Park for animal bedding and enrichment. Currently we are working closely with a company on designing compostable bags for our products. This not only will eliminate using plastic bags but we will also be able to offer our customers onsite composting for the used bags. We are proud members of the Sustainable Business Network and we always try to choose businesses to work with who share our same values on environmental impact.

Pests in New Zealand

Possums

Possums are voracious eaters, in New Zealand they consume an estimated 21,000 tonnes of vegetation a night. Most noticeably, they destroy spectacular flowering trees such as the pohutukawa and rata. They also change the overall structure and composition of our native forests. Their favoured food species are tall canopy species such as tawa, northern and southern rata, kohekohe, kamahi and Halls totara. Possums can cause catastrophic dieback, the complete collapse of a forest canopy, especially tree species that possums prefer. In the southern rata-kamahi forests of Westland, many valleys lost more than 50% of canopy trees within 15-20 years of possums arriving. The forest trees are then replaced by shrubs that are unpalatable to possums, and the area changes from tall forest to to low open forest and shrublands. New Zealands eight surviving species of native mistletoe are threatned by possums. Possum control can lead to dramatic increases in mistletoe growth and flowering. People used to think that possums only ate plants. But in 1993 possums were filmed eating the eggs and chicks of endangered kōkako. They have since been filmed eating the eggs, chicks and even adults of many other native birds including kererū, kiwi, harrier hawk, fantail, muttonbird, and tui. They also eat the nectar and berries that native birds like to eat so that there is less food for the birds.

Wallabys

The Bennett’s wallaby is primarily a grazer, feeding on a wide variety of indigenous and exotic grasses and herbs, but it also browses palatable shrub and tree species. They can deplete the understorey of remnant patches of indigenous forest, sometimes preventing regeneration of the most palatable species.

Deer

The impact of uncontrolled wild deer populations on New Zealand’s native forest and alpine grassland is well documented. Deer selectively remove palatable species, leaving the forest floor and alpine tussock and herb fields bare. When deer populations get too large, favourite plants like schefflera, broadleaf, three- finger, hen and chicken fern and lancewood are but removed from the ground tier in forest understoreys. Plants like alpine buttercup, spaniard grass and tall tussocks are damaged by deer in subalpine habitats. Rabbits & Hares Rabbits are regarded primarily as an agricultural pest. They compete very effectively for pasture. On average, 7-10 rabbits consume as much as one ewe. Rabbits also provide a stable food source for mammalian carriers of bovine tuberculosis. Burrowing and scrapes cause extensive damage on erosion-prone soils, so much so that agricultural land can be rendered useless. Historically, rabbit-infested farms were abandoned because owners could not make a living. Hares can prevent regeneration of native plants in favoured hare habitats in the sub alpine and alpine zones, and can damage sensitive native vegetation around alpine ponds and wetlands. Hares may also eat plant species in restoration areas, especially during the first four to five months following planting. Goats Wild goats are browsers rather than grazers. They cause considerable damage to under-storey vegetation up to two metres above the ground, damaging young trees in exotic forests and along replanted soil-conservation areas. The effect of goats destroying undergrowth coupled with the effects of possums browsing the canopy, results in significant and often permanent damage to native vegetation. Goats are agile animals, able to exploit steep hill slope unsuitable for other animals. The loss of vegetation in this areas may lead to increased erosion.
Not only are wild game an exceptional food source as they are fully organic and their varied diet causes them to have an exceptionally good nutritional profile, we believe by helping to control wild game populations, we are actively helping to save our native forests and as a result positively impacting the carbon foot print of this country. With no natural predators and often no competition for food, these animals are consuming enormous quantities of native bush daily.
© Canterbury Pet Foods Ltd 2019