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Bushfires in Australia – how our business is affected and what we’re doing to help

  • January 16, 2020
  • 2 min read

All of us at Fonterra are saddened by the suffering being experienced by so many in our community. We’re thankful that our people and farmers are safe so far, and our thoughts are with those who have not been so lucky.

To help get much-needed supplies out to the affected regions, we’ve supported our charity partner Foodbank through an initial donation of $40,000 of milk powder – which equates to 78,000 litres of milk for those who need it most. We’re also helping store 500 pallets of food and supplies generously donated by food companies and the public until Foodbank is ready to ship it.

Our people wanted to know how they could help, so we’ve hosted an event at our Richmond head office  where our people had the opportunity to donate. So far, our team has raised almost $8,000 – and with Fonterra matching every dollar, $16,000 will be donated to the Australian Red Cross Disaster and Relief Recovery Fund.

Our farmers are part of a tight-knit community, and it’s important that we all rally together. A co-ordinated industry effort is underway to get help to where farmers need it most. This includes getting feed to affected farms and helping to home cows outside the fire zones until they’re safe to return.

The bravery and determination of the emergency services volunteers has been nothing short of inspiring, and we’re proud to have members of our team on the frontline with the CFA and SES. To recognise their dedication and the care they show to the community, we provide additional volunteer leave.

We’ve been humbled by the support of our Kiwi colleagues and farmers who joined the fleet of New Zealand volunteer firefighters to bravely fight these devastating fires. Thank you.

Sadly, it’s going to be a challenging next few months as the dry conditions as a result of the drought show no signs of abating. Although at this point our business is fortunate to be in a better position than many, and our priority continues to be the safety of our people and our farmers.

These images were taken by one of our New Zealand farmers, Graeme Appleby from Southland, who was part of the second fleet of New Zealand firefighters deployed to New South Wales before Christmas.