10 Jul 2013

Job cuts 'unnecessary management' says Fonterra

6:15 am on 10 July 2013

About 300 people working for Fonterra are to lose their jobs as the co-operative moves to get rid of what is says are unnecessary management positions.

The jobs will go from Fonterra's corporate offices, mainly in Auckland and Hamilton.

Fonterra says about 50 of the 300 roles are vacant anyway because of a staff freeze imposed in February.

Chief executive officer Theo Spierings says Fonterra is on a growth drive and axing the positions will save it $65 million a year.

No one at Fonterra would be interviewed but in a statement Mr Spierings says such a review is never easy, however he was impressed by how professional, open and honest staff had been.

Fonterra also announced on Tuesday that more than 300 farmers have signed up to its fixed milk price pilot scheme being run this season.

Under the fixed price scheme, the farmers have locked in about 10% of their milk this season at the agreed price of $7 a kilo of milk solids.

That's Fonterra's opening forecast for the season.

In total about 15 million kilograms of milk solids will be supplied at the fixed price of about 1% of the co-operative's total milk, allowing Fonterra to assess the benefits and risks of fixed price milk.