Fonterra’s farmer representative body, the Fonterra Australia Suppliers’ Council (FASC), are behind an industry-first and informative program that strengthens the relationship between farmer and processor.
The program, Get to know Fonterra, builds a deeper understanding for Fonterra’s farmer suppliers about where their milk goes and provides insight into Fonterra Australia’s business.
The group of farmers heard from Fonterra leaders and guest speakers on site operations, sustainability, consumer brands and products, markets and more.
“Most farmers have a broad idea about where their milk goes once it leaves the farm gate. Through Get to Know Fonterra, they get the chance to understand more intricately the ins and outs of how Fonterra run their business, and what drives their decision-making,” he said.
“The added value is connecting farmers with Fonterra’s leaders and brands to give them the chance to chat business, but also get to know the people behind Fonterra on a personal level as well,” Nigel added.
Last week, twenty-four farmers joined the program at Fonterra’s Richmond office where they spent two days hearing from senior leaders, diving into all facets of the business.
Guest speakers from Fonterra Australia covered topics including site operations, supply chain management, sustainability, consumer brands and products, customers, and markets.
“Farmers get to appreciate the complexities of how milk is managed once it’s taken off farm, where it travels, what products it’s directed into, the strategy and the people behind it,” Nigel said.
Scotts Creek dairy farmer Renata Cumming joined the program and said it was a great opportunity to see what’s happening behind the scenes to move milk off farm and onto Fonterra’s multitude of different customers.
“It was fascinating to see how many different roles there are, that are not only involved, but necessary to make sure the company is efficient, effective and reliable. It’s brilliant to see how passionate Fonterra are about their respective roles and valuing our hard work in creating quality milk,” she said.
“It starts with our passion for the land and our cows, and it flows through the entire company from farmgate to final product,” she added.
Fonterra and FASC have a longstanding partnership that’s supported by transparent and open dialogue, with the two coming together regularly to discuss issues facing farmers and the industry, and opportunities to improve services and support.
The Council represent the interests of all Fonterra suppliers in a unique model not seen elsewhere across the dairy industry.
“We’re proud of the relationships we’ve built with all of our suppliers over many years, and with the support of the Fonterra Australia Suppliers’ Council, we’re continuing to strengthen them even further,” Matt Watt, Farm Source Director, Fonterra Australia said.
“The Council are the drivers behind this program, getting it off the ground less than two years ago, and now seeing increased demand for further sessions.
“It’s great to see this level of interest from our suppliers and we take the same value in getting to know our farmers too,” he added.
Get to Know Fonterra is offered to all Fonterra suppliers and currently runs once a year over two days at Fonterra’s Richmond office.
Fonterra Australia Suppliers’ Council members and program hosts (from left to right): Nigel Brock, Brett McKnight, Chloe Brown, Dean Ford, Celia Hobbs, Emma Liersch, Matt Grant, Will Kermode.