10 Mar 2010

All Fonterra staff in Chile safe

8:15 am on 10 March 2010

Fonterra has been able to track down all of its staff in Chile and confirm they are safe following the devastating earthquake.

The co-operative's Chilean subsidiary, Soprole, employs about 1800 people and has a distribution centre in one of the city's worst hit by the quake, Concepcion.

The 8.8-magnitude quake on 27 February had its epicentre 115km north-east of Concepcion.

Fonterra had initial trouble contacting some staff in Concepcion, but all have now been accounted for.

Commercial director for Latin America, Kevin Murray, says Fonterra is now focusing its attention on supporting staff who have lost their homes and need to be relocated.

He says Soprole's operation is also recovering, with milk being collected for its four processing plants, which are all partly functioning and products going to market, although with some restrictions.

Fonterra and Soprole have also given $1 million to a Telethon held in Chile to raise money for disaster recovery.