April 19, 2024


Fonterra to close palnts at sites in Waikato, New Zealand




Fonterra has revealed its decision to shutter several plants at two of its Waikato, New Zealand sites, impacting a total of 41 jobs.


Alan Van Der Nagel, Fonterra's director of NZ manufacturing, explained that the closures were part of the company's ongoing efforts to streamline operations and enhance efficiency. The affected facilities include Waitoa PDC (specialty powders) and a coal center at the site, as well as dryer one and two at Te Rapa.


Van Der Nagel emphasised that while these plants had served Fonterra well, they had become outdated and were no longer economically viable to operate.


He assured that Fonterra's Waitoa and Te Rapa manufacturing sites would remain operational. However, operations at Waitoa would cease by the end of the year, resulting in the discontinuation of 41 jobs. Fonterra is actively working with affected employees to explore redeployment opportunities within the cooperative.


At Te Rapa, the impacted dryers will cease operations in May. Fonterra intends to redeploy the small number of affected roles by utilising vacancies at the site. These closures align with Fonterra's strategy to focus resources on high-value products, such as increasing production capacity for lactoferrin at Hautapu and caramelised milk powder at Pahiatua.


Chris Flatt, National Secretary of the Dairy Workers Union, acknowledged the impact on roles but stated that there would be no reduction in headcount. The union is engaged in discussions with Fonterra regarding potential changes and is actively working to minimise the impact of the closures.


Flatt acknowledged the possibility of role rearrangements and highlighted the challenges faced by the dairy sector in Waikato, particularly with new market entrants like Olam Food Ingredients (OFI) targeting the region.


- The Dairy News Global

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