Fonterra wants more Government focus on Covid economic response

Source: 1News

Fonterra wants to see the Government focussing more on the economic response to Covid-19, after 18 months of a successful health response.

Chief executive Miles Hurrell told Katie Bradford and Q+A the cooperative has faced “significant” disruptions to their supply chains, which has forced reworking of orders.

“The focus needs to turn to a real economic rebuild. While the economy looks in pretty good shape as we sit here today, we all know the debt needs to be repaid,” said Hurrell.

Hurrell said there has been some engagement from the Government, but “I don’t think it’s at the point where we’re starting to talk about what plans look like for an economic recovery.”

One issue Fonterra has faced is New Zealand becoming less attractive to international shipping lines – a problem that was foreseen before the pandemic hit.

“I think it starts with getting the borders open, which comes back to the vaccination programme,” said Hurrell.

“What we’ve got to understand is when the markets open up, when New Zealand will be open for business… and allowing us as an exporting nation to get out to markets freely.

In July, Fonterra closed the financial year with a record 2.6 million tonnes of product exported.

Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell speaks to 1News reporter Katie Bradford about the disruption caused by Covid-19, and what the cooperative wants to see from the Government.