Fonterra appoints new managing director of global operations

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 11th June 2014
Fonterra has appointed a new managing director for global operations

New Zealand-based dairy giant Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited (Fonterra) has announced the appointment of Robert Spurway to the role of Managing Director Global Operations, a newly-created position on Fonterra’s management team.

Chief Executive Theo Spierings said Mr Spurway was “uniquely qualified” for the position.

“Robert is currently Acting Director New Zealand Operations in NZ Milk Products, responsible for overseeing milk collection, manufacturing and logistics for the Co-operative’s New Zealand milk supply,” Mr Spierings said.

Mr Spierings said one of Fonterra’s top business priorities was to optimise its global ingredients sales and operations footprint, so it could better manage price volatility and increase value, while also “ensuring a total focus on food safety and quality, and our customers’ need”.

“In his new role, Robert will lead the integration of our global milk production capacity,” Mr Spierings said. “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,” he said.

“Just as we have a global sales team selling ingredients around the world, we also need an integrated approach to global manufacturing in markets where we have a natural competitive advantage and access to local milk pools,” Mr Spierings said.

Mr Spurway has more than 20 years’ experience in the food and dairy industries. After managing the Northland Dairy Company’s Dargaville site, he moved to Australia in 1999 where he held various roles in Goodman Fielder Australia. From 2008-2011 he led two food companies, before returning to New Zealand to become Fonterra’s South Island Regional Operations Manager. In this role, Mr Spurway oversaw the greenfield development of the Co-operative’s Darfield site.

Mr Spurway will take up his new position on 1 August 2014.