Underutilised land at Fonterra's dairy site in West Gippsland has prompted the company to invest in a sustainable target of planting more than 20,000 native trees.
Only 6 per cent of Fonterra's 280-hectare property at Darnum is used for manufacturing, but under a new vegetation project, native plants and trees will be planted across four hectares to form a riparian zone.
Fonterra Darnum environmental manager Paul Winfield said revegetation projects played an important role in protecting ecosystems in the surrounding areas.
"We want to ensure that we're producing dairy nutrition in a way that cares for the environment, and part of this is caring for the land around us," he said.
"To make this happen, we've partnered with Habitat Creations, a local family-owned company that specialises in conservation, land management and native plant supply via its wholesale nursery.
"While the high volume of rainfall we've had over the past couple of months delayed the start, it's great to finally break ground and get the project underway."
Using plants grown from local provenance seeds, Habitat Creations - along with some people from Fonterra's Darnum site - took on the huge task to plant out the area.
The seedlings are a diverse mix of tall canopy trees and understory species to complement the existing native plants already on site.
"These plants and trees will help absorb nutrient run off," Habitat Creations general manager Michael Shore said.
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