Around 110 jobs are likely to lose their jobs at Fonterra's
Canpac plant in Waikato as it changes its focus.
The company said it was "realigning" its packing operations
at the plant to focus more on paediatric nutritionals.
This would mean Canpac would move to operating 24 hours a
day, Monday-to-Friday, instead of the current seven day-
The changes could mean around 110 of the 330 jobs at the
plant may not be needed.
"We've undertaken a thorough review of the site and looked at
where to focus the business after some of Canpac's volume was
reduced, and have been considering options to make the site
run more efficiently and a better fit with our strategy,"
Fonterra director of NZ operations Robert Spurway said.
"This is not a decision we have taken lightly and we are
working through a consultation process with our people around
"This will be a blow for our people and we will do everything
we can to work with them to find new opportunities at our
other sites in the Waikato and further afield should they
Staff members gathered at the Kingsgate Hotel in Hamilton
today where a senior executive told them the plant was
running below capacity and changes were needed.
They emerged from the meeting downcast and refused to speak
with media, saying confidentiality agreements with their
employer prevented them from doing so.
Mr Spurway said the changes had nothing to do with last
year's botulism scare but were more about simplifying the
business including its range of products to make it more
"We are running below capacity so this is about us being
clear about what we face in the future," said Mr Spurway.
"There's no surprise for many of the staff, one of the things
that was apparent to the team was that they were running
below capacity and that needed to change."
Mr Spurway said there would be changes "right across the
board", affecting staff on the plant floor to people in
senior management positions.
He said a formal consultation with staff would likely begin
next week and expected the proposed changes to be enacted by
late next month or early September.
Staff at the plant packaged and canned infant formula and
milk products but Mr Spurway said changes could also see the
plant focus more on paediatric products and high value-added
Canpac is Fonterra's largest secondary packager of milk
powders, and supplies branded nutritional powders, bulk
blended nutritional milk powders, cans and can components
around the world.
In May, Fonterra flagged $400 million to $500 million of
additional capital spending over the next three or four years
building new capacity to reduce product mix constraints,
including two new milk powder plants.
Last year, it embarked on a savings drive to strip out up to
$65 million a year by eliminating 300 jobs, centralising
services, cutting duplication and simplifying management
Units in the Fonterra Shareholders' Fund were unchanged at
$5.99, and have increased 3.3 percent this year.
- NZ Herald with BusinessDesk