Fonterra likely to axe 110 jobs in Waikato

Robert Spurway, Fonterra director of New Zealand operations

Fonterra has indicated that up to 110 jobs are on the line at its Canpac site in Waikato, as the dairy cooperative focuses more on paediatric nutritionals there.

The move would mean Canpac operating 24 hours-a-day, Monday-to-Friday, instead of the current seven days a week operation.

“We’ve undertaken a thorough review of the site and looked at where to focus the business after some of Canpac’s volume was reduced, and have been considering options to make the site run more efficiently and a better fit with our strategy,” Fonterra’s director of New Zealand operations, Robert Spurway says in a statement. 

The proposed changes could mean 110 roles may not be required at the site, which currently employs 330, he says.

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly and we are working through a consultation process with our people around the proposal. This will be a blow for our people and we will do everything we can to work with them to find new opportunities at our other sites in the Waikato and further afield should they need them." 

Mr Spurway says the cooperative employs about 2000 people in Waikato and has invested more than $150 million in the area in the past three years. 

“We are continuing looking at where we can further invest in the Waikato but have to make decisions based on what aligns with Fonterra’s strategy and will drive the greatest returns to our farmer-shareholders.

“We have invested heavily in our foodservice business, spending $120 million on a new UHT [ultra heat treatment] plant at our Waitoa site and $30 million on a cream cheese plant at Te Rapa, which combined have created 90 permanent jobs, on top of the hundreds involved in the construction,” Mr Spurway said.

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