Farm Source being sold by Fonterra

Fonterra is selling its Farm Source livestock division to Carrfields Livestock as part of a board-led portfolio review.

Farm Source stores director Richard Allen said yesterday the division had contributed positive returns since inception.

However, Fonterra believed the investment required to maintain and grow the division could be ''more effectively targeted towards improving core areas of the Farm Source business.''

Last month, Fonterra confirmed Kiwi ice-cream brand Tip Top was on the market, as the co-operative looked to streamline its operation and reduce debt.

Carrfields Group managing director Craig Carr said the acquisition was both exciting and a strategic opportunity for the company to fill gaps in its national network.

It would take the Carrfields Livestock team to more than 150 livestock agents throughout the country. The brand name Carrfields arose from the Mid Canterbury-based family-owned Carr Group's acquisition of the Elders New Zealand business in 2014.

Carrfields Livestock would officially take ownership on March 1. A ''small number'' of employers who would not have the option to transition would be supported by Farm Source in identifying ''new opportunities'' within the co-operative.

Farm Source (previously RD1) has had a livestock division since 2005. It had about 25 agents and, in 2017, facilitated the purchase of nearly 200,000 animals.

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