‘Fortress Fonterra’ must up its game

Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: ‘Fortress Fonterra’ must up its game

Fonterra must act on all the recommendations of its internal inquiry, especially the accusation that the company is acting like ‘Fortress Fonterra’, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe.

“The whey powder scare was hugely significant for New Zealanders. It caused real concerns for families with young children and proved how reliant New Zealand is on one company and one industry.

“Thankfully Fonterra’s board recognises how serious this was. It is good that they have fronted with a senior review and consulted with the Parliamentary Opposition.

“The inquiry released today shows that Fonterra is a silo-driven company with too much emphasis on production, has patchy regulatory interaction and a fortress mentality.

“The report shows Fonterra has some way to go before it can be regarded as a uniformly world-class producer of high-value food. It criticises the focus on production volume rather than the need to maintain uniformly top class quality control.

“When exporting high quality product for human consumption there is no room for a number eight wire approach. Fonterra has to get it right every time and have 100 per cent quality and safety standards.

“Labour believes the company must accelerate its journey from volume to value and from commodity-based production to uniformly top quality high-value products.

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“All New Zealanders have a stake in ensuring Fonterra consistently contributes to our Pure New Zealand brand.

“In Government Labour will partner with Fonterra to support its journey to becoming a consistently world-class food provider and a standard-bearer for New Zealand.

“This board report confirms that Fonterra cannot afford to continue with the practices that led to the botulism scare. Like the board Labour will carefully review progress when the review team reconvenes in nine months’ time,” David Cunliffe says.

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