March update: Kaikōura Zone Delivery Manager

Kaikōura Zone Delivery Manager Kevin Heays explains why farmers using grape marc must have consent to do so.

Kaikōura Zone Delivery Manager Kevin Heays

Kaikōura Zone Delivery Manager Kevin Heays

Explore before you store

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.  

Although appealing to use as stock feed, the high level of nutrients means its impact on the environment needs to be managed.

Grape marc has been increasing in popularity throughout our farming community, but the storage or use of the product is not a permitted activity (Download the Farmers Guide to Environment Canterbury Rules (PDF File, 3.74MB) to find out what rules apply). and a resource consent is required to use or store it. 

We are not discouraging people to use grape marc; we are simply ensuring that they explore requirements before they store the product.

Why is a consent needed?

Industrial or trade waste can be damaging to the environment, so special care needs to be taken when using or storing these products. They are generally dense in nutrients so have a higher risk of leaching to the environment compared to other products that are produced on farm. This can lead to contamination of nearby waterways and perhaps even ground water.

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 Kaikōura, it’s important that these risks are managed properly.

What now?

If you either have grape marc in your silage pit, or are thinking about getting some, please get in touch with our consents team. Call 0800 324 636 or email ecinfo@ecan.govt.nz. You can also call our land management advisor Pete Bradshaw on 027 3022 149 to have a chat.

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.

Get in touch today to have a chat about it – we can help you work out a plan to properly manage it.

Until next time,

Kev