Fonterra to close Brightwater milk powder plant

Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd

Monday, 01 August, 2022

Fonterra to close Brightwater milk powder plant

Fonterra has announced it will be closing the milk powder plant at its Brightwater site. The plant, located near Nelson on the edge of New Zealand’s South Island, will cease operations in April 2023, though milk collection and its associated activities will continue at the facility.

Brightwater currently processes around 0.25% of Fonterra’s total milk supply into whole milk powder. Post-closure, the company’s Darfield site, near Christchurch, will be used for these operations instead.

“We know milk supply is declining over time, flat at best, so we need to make sure we’re getting the most out of every drop of milk and optimising our plants to match both consumer demand and available milk supply,” said Fonterra CEO Fraser Whineray.

“Part of our long-term strategy is to direct more milk into our Foodservice and Consumer business, less into Ingredients, and in some cases to divert product away from the Global Dairy Trade auctions. This, along with forecast capital and maintenance costs, means we’ve made the tough decision to close our milk powder plant at Brightwater.

“We’re continually working to ensure our assets across the country are as efficient as they can be, changing product mixes, and moving more milk into value-add products.”

Thirty employees will be affected by the plant’s shutdown. Fonterra has said it is aiming to support these workers.

“It’s no doubt tough news for some of the Brightwater team and we’ll be working with them in the coming months on their future options, including redeployment opportunities within the Co-op,” said Whineray.

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