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June 11, 2015

Fonterra reacts to “new normal” of dairy volatility

Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings has said the global volatility the dairy industry is experiencing is "the new normal".

Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings has said the global volatility the dairy industry is experiencing is "the new normal".

Last month Fonterra reduced its forecast farmgate milk price for the 2014/15 season to NZ$4.40 (US$3.19) per kgMS, from a previously reduced NZ$4.50 kgMS on the back of lower than expected global commodity prices.

"The world has changed and the unprecedented global volatility we’re experiencing right now is the new normal," Spierings said to just-food.

"It affects the entire dairy industry, but we recognise the need to re-set our business accordingly – what worked in the past doesn’t necessarily work now. We are turning over every stone and pressure testing everything. This includes our current staff numbers and how we line-up to drive cash back to our farmers."

The company has now confirmed "there will be job losses" as part of a review which focuses on having more staff in market selling and reducing the number of support staff. CEO Theo Spierings would not disclose exact numbers until the review is completed and approved by the board on 1 August.

Spierings added it was "too early to talk specific numbers" but results would be relayed to farmers and staff first.

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