Over 500 jobs axed at Fonterra

The world's largest dairy exporter, Fonterra, has undergone a major review and has today confirmed that it will cut 523 jobs in order to save up to $60 million a year on its salary bill.

Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings says, “The key aims of the review are to ensure that the Co-operative is best placed to successfully deliver its strategy, increase focus on generating cash flow, and implement specific, sustainable measures for enhancing efficiency."

Staff affected by this were consulted in its central procurement, finance, information services, human resources, strategy and legal teams and will leave in September.

Those who will be made redundant will incur a one-off cost of between $12 million and $15 million.

Spierings said the news has been unsettling but changes had to be made if the company was to remain strongly competitive in today's global dairy market.

“Reducing the number of roles in our business isn’t about individual competency; it’s about continually improving the way we deliver performance,” explains Spierings.

Globally, Fonterra has more than 18,000 staff and 11,500 in New Zealand. 

Fonterra did not reveal how many further job cuts are expected, however, consultation will begin on August 5 with staff in the rest of the business, including administration, sales, consumer, marketing, research and development, communications, health and safety and quality, group resilience and risk, property, procurement and change management.