This work presents data and analysis quantifying the total (direct and indirect) resource use and outputs (products and pollutants) of the New Zealand dairy industry for the year April 1997 to March 1998. It also identifies those sectors supplying the dairy industry which make significant indirect contributions to its total inputs and outputs. Although this data is 14 years old, it is the only large-scale, detailed data available. Further, more modern data can be compared with this baseline data. Comparison with the other major New Zealand food and fibre sectors shows that the dairy farming sector has the highest total water consumption and the highest total effluent. It also has high total land use, electricity use and production of animal methane. The dairy processing sector is water and fuel intensive and has high total water effluent and greenhouse gas emissions. The high resource use and pollutants have to be weighed against the enormous economic value of the dairy sectors.
International Journal of Sustainable Development, 2012, 15 (4), pp. 313 - 333