Currently the Co-operative has two specialty cheese manufacturing sites operated by Fonterra Brands New Zealand (FBNZ) - one in Te Roto and the other in Bridge Street, Eltham. The planned consolidation will see operations move to Eltham.
Brett Henshaw, Managing Director FBNZ, says today’s announcement is very tough, but necessary.
“We owe it to our farmer shareholders and unit holders to get the best returns we can for them, and having two specialty cheese plants means there’s duplication of costs.
“The specialty cheese business has been losing money in having to run the two sites. This change will consolidate costs and make it sustainable to continue in the category.
“Our priority right now is looking after our people at Te Roto and working through what this announcement means for them.
“This includes looking at redeployment options to our Bridge Street site, as 34 new jobs will be created in Eltham as a result of the planned consolidation. In addition, we will be supporting staff to explore other opportunities at other Fonterra sites.”
There are currently 65 employees working at Fonterra’s Te Roto site.
The phased transition of the speciality cheese making operations to Eltham Bridget Street is planned to be completed by the end of April 2020.