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Fonterra Has Confirmed Plant Closures in Waikato Region, 41 Jobs Affected

New Zealand 12.04.2024
Source: The DairyNews
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Fonterra, the dairy giant, has revealed its decision to shutter several plants at two of its Waikato sites, impacting a total of 41 jobs.
Fonterra Has Confirmed Plant Closures in Waikato Region, 41 Jobs Affected
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 the coal center at the site, as well as dryer one and two at Te Rapa. Van Der Nagel emphasized that while these plants had served Fonterra well, they had become outdated and were no longer economically viable to operate.

Van Der Nagel 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 utilizing 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 caramelized 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 minimize 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 OFI (Olam Food Ingredients) targeting the region.
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