Fonterra full of praise as team goes ‘extra mile’

Team effort ...Fonterra Clandeboye and Studholme site manager Steve McKnight is proud of his team...
Team effort ...Fonterra Clandeboye and Studholme site manager Steve McKnight is proud of his team.PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Fonterra has praised the efforts of its workers during the Covid-19 Alert Level 3 lockdown.

Clandeboye and Studholme site manager Steve McKnight said dairy co-operative team members handled the nation-wide essential work magnificently.

‘‘The team have responded really, really well. We have members in the team who are over 70 and immuno-compromised or respiratory compromised, who are unable to be at work, so we have had to move things around. But the good news is, the team have done a fantastic job,’’ he said.

As in many businesses, Mr McKnight and some members of the Fonterra team have had to adjust to work at home, which meant some distractions but a fun, new way to interact.

‘‘It has been quite interesting to hear the kids in the background of calls, see cats on people’s knees. You certainly miss your team and you miss your workmates but we have made the best of it over the internet.’’

He said health and safety measures at the Clandeboye plant had ‘‘gone above and beyond to keep individuals and consequently their families out of harm’s way’’.

‘‘There have been a whole heap of new safety measurements in place to make sure all teams are safe. We do temperature checking for everyone that comes on site, restricted site entrances to two, social distancing, staggered out work stations extensively and PPE gear have been given out extensively for those who need it,’’ he said.

‘‘This event has reinforced how resilient our workforce is. People go the extra mile to get stuff done.

‘‘We have made sure everyone gets the same message at the same time, communication and safety have been held to a higher standard than usual.’’

Commentators have speculated the global economic shutdown could change how businesses operate in the future and Mr McKnight believed this to be true.

‘‘It is certainly going to be different going forward. We are not out of this by a long stretch. If you start to think about ‘where else in the world have we not heard from yet’, there is still a lot of water to go under the bridge. Africa and Central America, for example, is where a lot of our product goes.

‘‘There will be immense change coming through in the short term,’’ he said.

‘‘Longer-term we have learned a lot about ourselves, the resilience of our networks and infrastructure to be able to deal with something like this. It sets us up for whatever may come and makes our drills count.’’

One would assume running an essential business operation during level four lockdown has to be hard work but Mr McKnight affirmed there was only one thing on his mind.

‘‘The idea that someone in your team is at risk or could catch Covid-19 keeps you awake at night.

‘‘We are lucky, we have a really great team that are doing a fantastic job.’’

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