At Fonterra, food safety and quality is everyone’s responsibility...


...from our farms all the way to our customers and consumers around the world. 

Our Food Safety and Quality System ensures that, wherever we are located in the world, we have a clear, consistent framework to deliver safe, quality products and services.

Our Food Safety and Quality System is made up of four key components:

  1. Our Food Safety Policy
  2. Our Business Unit Requirements
  3. Our Partner Requirements
  4. Our Food Safety and Quality Behaviours

We do all we can to protect our milk. We give the utmost care and attention to ensure the integrity of our product is protected as it journeys along our carefully managed, world-class supply chain.

Food safety and quality 

By achieving uncompromising standards of food safety and quality this commitment extends through every step of our supply chain – from our farming families right through to consumers’ homes in more than 100 countries

Wherever we’re located in the world, we have a clear, consistent system to ensure we deliver the highest quality products and services. We leave nothing to chance.

We trace our products

Fonterra is the first dairy company that can electronically trace its product anywhere in the world within minutes. 

Our SAP Global Batch Trace system spans 12 countries, 250 operations, and has 430,000 electronic sensors. Through it, we can pinpoint where in the world our products are or look at where the products have come from, right back to the farm gate.

We have stringent processes

Our farmer families are committed to the highest standards of quality control through regular on-farm testing as well as independent farm and environmental assessments.

At every farm milk samples are taken and our tankers use cutting-edge testing technology to ensure only the highest standard of milk is processed.

Every milk collection is tested by an independent provider – MilkTestNZ, while the National Chemical Contaminants Programme carries out random raw milk monitoring.

In fact, we undertake more than six million quality tests every year and continue to find innovative ways to further enhance our world-class systems.  Before our food is exported, we also carry out a range of quality assessments specific to the destination country.

Our shipping containers are cleaned, inspected and tested before being packed and security sealed to ensure our products remain safe on their journey.

We uphold high quality and food safety standards

Fonterra’s Food Safety and Quality system are designed to ensure safety and quality at every stage, from farm to consumer.

Our commitments to food safety and quality include:

  • Food Safety: Produce and supply safe, quality foods.
  • Consumer Health: Produce and supply nutritious dairy products.
  • Consumer Satisfaction: Aim to consistently satisfy and surpass customer and consumer expectations.

Our 30 manufacturing sites are at the forefront of dairy innovation and efficiency

An $11 million upgrade has doubled capacity of our Lactoferrin plant at Hautapu in New Zealand, allowing us to meet high-demand for the iron-binding protein used in infant formula and health foods.

The most in-demand food product used in foodservice and home kitchens – sliced processed cheese – is now coming off the line at Eltham, producing 2.3 billion slices annually, destined for more than 100 markets around the world.

Our Clandeboye mozzarella plant is running 24 hours a day, making enough cheese to top 300 million pizzas a year and is the first of its kind to make frozen shredded natural mozzarella from milk in one day, rather than two months.

Thinking and living food safety and quality

To ensure we deliver on our promise, we have been focusing on strengthening our food safety and quality behaviours and decisions.

Independent research in FY17 showed the success of these efforts, with our culture moving up two levels on a four-level maturity model. Importantly, it also demonstrated that Fonterra’s employees better understand their individual responsibilities as part of a food company, and are empowered, encouraged and enabled to make interventions to protect food safety and quality.Before our food is exported, we also carry out a range of quality assessments specific to the destination country.

Our shipping containers are cleaned, inspected and tested before being packed and security sealed to ensure our products remain safe on their journey.

New and innovative thinking around food safety and quality has included turning procedural training activities into an interactive board game, customised to build engagement with its audience. The game has positively impacted food safety behaviours, and it won the New Zealand Association of Training and Documentation Learning Innovation of the Year 2016.

Achieving benchmark standards

Our Food Safety and Quality System is subject to regular scrutiny from third-party audits by regulators, key account customers, and certification bodies.

We are working towards a target of having all our global manufacturing facilities independently certified to the benchmark quality standards 1 by 2019. At the end of FY17, 81 percent of all global sites had achieved this level.

In addition, our own farming operations in China also achieved this benchmark this year, demonstrating the robust Food Safety Management Systems in place.

Our unique place in the world makes us ideally positioned to grow great grass

We’re lucky here, tucked far away from anywhere. We’re surrounded by clean air and bathed in rain and sunshine.