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Spurway to head Fonterra global operations

Monday 9 Jun 2014 3:52 p.m.

Fonterra has tapped Robert Spurway to head up its global operations division in a newly created role as the dairy giant chases global ingredient sales to offset dairy price volatility.

Mr Spurway is currently Fonterra's acting director of New Zealand operations in NZ milk products.

He previously worked across the Tasman for food manufacturer Goodman Fielder before returning to New Zealand to become Fonterra's South Island regional operations manager.

"In his new role, Robert will lead the integration of our global milk production capacity," chief executive Theo Spierings said.

Mr Spierings said one of the company's top priorities was to optimise its global ingredients sales and operations footprint so it can better manage price volatility and increase value while remaining focused on food safety and quality and customers' needs.

"While our operations will remain predominantly New Zealand-based and our primary commitment is to our New Zealand farmer shareholders, it is important to have more options about what products we make and where we make them, to complement our New Zealand milk," Mr Spierings said.

Last month Fonterra forecast a payout for the coming season of $7 per kilogram of milk solids, down from a revised $8.40 for the current season as dairy product prices have dropped 23 percent since Fonterra's board forecast a record milk payout in February.

The company announced last month that it was overhauling its Latin American 50/50 joint venture with Nestle, with the New Zealand dairy exporter getting the liquids business and the Swiss group buying the milk processing plants.

Units in the Fonterra Shareholders' Fund, which gives investors exposure to the group's dividends, rose 0.7 percent to $5.99, and have gained 2.6 percent this year.

NZN

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