[12 June/ The NZ Farmers Weekly]

Fonterra has planned to discourage feeding of high levels of palm kernel to cows. Starting next season, a demerit system based on a six-day average fat evaluation index will be printed on the tanker docket for each milk pick-up. Since April all suppliers had been notified of their FEI numbers, and they would have a season to change farming systems and prepare for the demerit system. Fonterra does not take a position behind palm products, said the purpose behind the demerit system is to invoke potential dairy product quality issues. Four FEI ranges were proposed: A level, FEI under 7, suitable for manufacturing requirements and customer specifications; B level, FEI 7 to 7.9, meets requirements but approaching the threshold; C level, FEI 8 to 9.4, exceeds threshold limit and; D level, FEI 9.5 and over, well exceeds threshold.