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April 9, 2020

Coronavirus – Fonterra workers test positive at Edendale distribution site

New Zealand-based dairy giant Fonterra said two of its employees had tested positive for Covid-19 and the facility in question has been closed for deep cleaning.

By Dean Best

New Zealand-based dairy giant Fonterra said two of its employees at its Edendale distribution centre had tested positive for Covid-19, and the facility was closed temporarily on Tuesday (7 April) for deep cleaning.

The facility was shut for 48 hours on Tuesday night as a precaution, Gordon Carlyle, the director of the global supply chain for Fonterra, the world’s largest dairy cooperative, said in a statement sent to just-food.

Fonterra’s distribution centre is part of a wider complex at Edendale, where the remainder of the co-op’s other businesses remain operational, and milk collection and processing continues as normal.

Fonterra said Edendale, a town situated in the Southland region of South Island, has experienced a “significant outbreak” of coronavirus, which is being referred to locally as a “Bluff cluster”. 

“With this in mind, our priority is to take conservative actions and precautions on site to keep our people protected from catching or spreading the virus,” Carlyle said.

He added: “The scale of our business – with more than 20,000 employees in more than 20 countries around the world – combined with the global nature of Covid-19, means it’s inevitable that some of our people will test positive.”

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