Dairy giant Fonterra has confirmed it is shedding 300 jobs after a review of its support services.
Robotic technology being used at Fonterra's Edendale site to identify any issues in the large milk silos has been described as a ''godsend'' for the annual winter inspection and maintenance programme.
Fonterra has confirmed a guaranteed milk price of $7 per kg of milk solids (ms) for its 2013-14 season pilot scheme, which it says has already attracted strong interest from farmers.
Former Fonterra chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden has warned exporters to be wary of fraudulent behaviour when doing business in China, saying: "Don't ever trust them ... never."
Nearly $500 million will be released into the economy as Fonterra farmer shareholders elect to sell some of their wet shares into this month's supply offer.
Fonterra's first forecast for the 2013-14 dairy season, due tomorrow, is expected to add momentum to the New Zealand economy, Westpac economist Doug Steel says.
Fonterra's release yesterday of a final price on its listed shareholder units could provide debt-laden or drought-affected dairy farmers with a cash windfall.
A supply offer enabling Fonterra farmer shareholders to sell the economic rights of some of their shares will open today. They will have the opportunity to offer to sell the economic rights of up to 25% of their minimum required shares (wet shares) to the Fonterra Shareholders Fund.
Fonterra is renewing contracts for some of its organic dairy farmers, less than two years after slashing the number of supplier farmers throughout the North Island, but the news is not so good for Northland suppliers.
Fonterra's increased forecast milk price will not be enough to make up for the effects of drought, particularly in the North Island, Federated Farmers says.
Fonterra has warned its strong first-half earnings are unlikely to be repeated in the second half of the year.
A supply offer enabling Fonterra farmer shareholders to sell the economic rights of some of their shares will open in May.
The dairy sector may weather the drought better than beef and sheep farmers but Fonterra's recently launched shareholder fund units could take a hit in value.
Groups already working to improve water quality in the Waituna Lagoon near Invercargill have welcomed funding from dairy giant Fonterra.
Fonterra is investing $20 million in a conservation project to restore waterways in Northland, Waikato, Canterbury and Southland.
Prices surged in the GlobalDairyTrade auction this week, increasing 10.4% on a trade-weighted basis, as New Zealand's supply tightens rapidly, due to dry conditions.
Fonterra and Netherlands-based A-ware Food Group have signed an agreement to develop a cheese plant and dairy ingredients plant in Heerenveen, in the north of the Netherlands.
Fonterra will launch a bonus issue in April that the dairy processor says will not dilute the value for either shareholders or unit holders.
Dry weather conditions, particularly in the North Island, in mid-December and January had resulted in a slowdown in milk supply growth, Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings said yesterday.
Moves by Fonterra and the Ministry of Primary Industries following the agrichemical scare appear to have largely assured markets that New Zealand dairy products are safe, Westpac economist Nathan Penny says.