Consent required for grape marc storage

As farmers prepare to store stock feed for the winter, they’re reminded that although cheap and easy, the storage of grape marc requires a consent.

Grape marc, sometimes called pomace, is the solid waste left over from processing grapes into wine and is considered industrial trade waste. It is extremely high in nutrients and cheap to purchase for stock feed. 

Kaikōura zone delivery lead Kevin Heays

Kaikōura zone delivery lead Kevin Heays

“Grape marc omits high level of nutrients, so requires careful management to make sure it’s not impacting on the environment,” Kaikōura Zone Delivery Lead Kevin Heays said.

“The storage of this product is not a permitted activity under the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan, and a resource consent is required to do so.

“Given that Kaikōura is between two wine regions, we’ve noticed an increase coming into the district,” Heays said.

“Our local Resource Management Officer Garry is aware and actively monitoring any storage of the product in Kaikōura and any storage without a consent runs the risk of failing a Farm Audit.

“It’s really not worth the risk,” he said.

Consent required to manage risk to the environment

Industrial or trade waste, such as grape marc, can be damaging to the environment, so special care needs to be taken when using or storing these products.

“This kind of waste is normally high in nutrients, so it has a higher risk of leaching to the environment compared to other products that are produced on farm,” Heays said.

“In other regions there have been instances when leaching has occurred, and it has made its way into local waterways.

“With all the hard work that farmers and the community are undertaking to improve and restore water quality throughout the region, it’s important that these risks are managed properly,” he said.

Explore before you store

Before buying, storing or using grape marc, farmers are encouraged to contact our consents team for advice and assistance.

It’s best to explore your options before you store grape marc. Call 0800 324 636 or email ecinfo@ecan.govt.nz.

“Grape marc may be a cheap option, but we don’t want it to end up costing our environment. In the long run it could end up costing you, the landowner,” Heays said.