As an essential business, Fonterra’s operations are continuing to run.
However, things are a bit different with strict precautions in place to ensure our employees, their families and communities are kept safe during this time.
We caught up with Fonterra’s Lower North Island Depot Manager Paul Phipps, or Phippsy as he’s known to the team, to find out how they’re getting used to the new way of operating.
Farmers’ milk is still being collected and processed as normal and collection volumes are not wildly different to previous seasons at this time of year, considering this season’s challenges included a significant drought in the North and flooding in the South.
We take our status as an essential service very seriously. It’s a privilege and a responsibility that we don’t take lightly, and we have strict precautions in place to ensure our employees, their families and communities are kept safe during this time.
We’ve taken a number of steps to ensure the safety of our people, including:
We all know we have an important part to play in breaking the chain and living our safety values at work and at home, because that’s is what is going to get us through this.
Obviously, minimising the spread of COVID-19 is top concern.
For my team, the big focus for us is in our actions and asking ourselves ‘What can I do to make sure I am safe?’ And starting to think, ‘now is not the time to rely on others to make sure my work area, for example my cab, is clean, when I hop in it, I own it.’
Our shareholders have been great. We arrive at a lot of farms and they have set up cleaning/sanitising stations for us and are fully aware of social distancing.
We have also received great notes from a lot of them who are really appreciative of what we’re doing during these trying times.
I’m hearing a lot from our tanker drivers around how life is a lot easier not having to worry about traffic jams and roadwork, so that’s a positive.
Tanker drivers and shareholders are owning the situation. Shareholders live partly in isolation all year round so not a massive change. And tanker drivers are well known to take things in their stride and continue to keep the wheels turning. I couldn’t be involved with a better bunch to knock this thing over!