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A business-as-usual approach at Fonterra won’t produce the food-production transformation which Sir Peter Gluckman is urging

05/07/2020

Point of Order

As  the  Covid-19 pandemic  rages   round the world,  New  Zealanders  are  re-discovering food production  is the fundamental  engine of  the   economy.  And farming is not a sunset industry.

Instead of being rubbished   by lobby  groups  for  so-called “dirty dairying”,  the  country’s core  export industry has the chance  to transform itself to be  both more  sustainable and  profitable, along  with remaining one of the main props of the  economy.

Coincidentally,  dairy  giant  Fonterra  gets a   new  leader  in Peter McBride  who  takes over  as chairman in  November.  McBride   steered  Zespri   through  several  crises.   Now, he  says,  he is looking  forward  to  “creating value”   for the co-operative’s 10,500 suppliers.

It’s  a challenge  even more  acute  because   the  co-op  has only   just emerged from racking  up  a  $605m  annual  loss in the  2019  financial year.   Fonterra  did  that  as  other  dairy companies  were  turning  into   stars  on  the  NZ  stock…

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