Fonterra - linked to job losses

Fonterra - linked to job losses

Reports in the New Zealand media suggest Fonterra, the embattled Kiwi dairy business, is considering cutting the size of its workforce.

The cooperative, the world's largest dairy exporter, is facing huge losses and is trying to turn the struggling business around.

Local media outlet Stuff quoted a Fonterra spokesperson as acknowledging there would be cuts without talking about any numbers. 

Stuff added it has heard from a number of sources that job losses are expected, which will focus on middle-management positions rather than processing plant workers.

A Fonterra spokesperson told just-food the article is based on "inaccurate rumours" but confirmed it would be changing its "organisational structure". 

In a statement, Fonterra said: "We have been open with employees that with a new strategy comes a new structure. Our new strategy is about being more focused, prioritising New Zealand milk, and being closer to our customers. That means we will be changing our organisational structure to support our new strategy. It is premature to speculate on where in the organisation these changes may occur or how many roles may be impacted."

Fonterra has warned it is likely to make an annual loss in the range of NZD590m (US$379m) to NZD675m on the back of a number of previously announced write-downs. It was supposed to deliver the results tomorrow (12 September), but has delayed that until the end of the month.

Last week, Fonterra said staff would not receive bonuses for this year, and those earning over NZD100,000 would not receive a pay rise next year. The move is expected to impact around 7,000 of Fonterra's 22,000 employees.