Fonterra chips in to Canterbury earthquake relief

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 7th September 2010

Fonterra has announced a $1 million donation towards recovery efforts in earthquake-affected Christchurch and the surrounding regions.

Chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden said this morning the donation would be made to the local Mayoral Relief Fund.

“We are very concerned for people in the region, especially those coping with significant damage to their homes. We know the donation will be put to good and immediate use as people try to cope with the very difficult conditions. We encourage other companies to do the same.

“There is a massive job to be done. We are grateful that our local farmers and our sites have come through relatively unscathed as this means we can put our resources into the community where help is needed most.”

Fonterra CEO Andrew Ferrier said that in addition to the $1 million donation, Fonterra would continue to provide practical help through local staff and equipment.

Mr Ferrier said four Fonterra tankers had been stationed at local emergency centres and were delivering water to the community.

In addition, Fonterra was working with the civil defence team to provide food and milk for the public via emergency centres.

Fonterra service centres and Area Managers were contacting all local dairy farmers. An estimated 20 percent of farms in the area were still without power.

“We are helping to source generators for these farmers or arranging for them to milk at neighbours’ properties,” said Mr Ferrier. “Fonterra is continuing to collect all milk from local farmers.”

Mr Ferrier said Fonterra’s manufacturing sites at Clandeboyne, Takaka, Brightwater and Kaikoura were operating and processing milk. There had been minor damage at the Plains manufacturing site but the clean-up was underway and the plant resumed operation on Sunday afternoon.

Fonterra’s emergency response teams, based at each of its sites, were co-ordinating the clean-up at local factories and distribution centres.