Spring milk flush challenges Fonterra
Fonterra’s manpower and plants are being stretched under a spring milk tsunami that saw a record 30 million litres collected from Waikato and Bay of Plenty on one day last week.
The dairy giant said it was finding the collection and processing of the milk wave throughout the country ‘‘challenging’’ and was dusting off contingency plans for coping with a super-flush.
Managing director, trade and operations, Gary Romano said farmers were experiencing delays in having their milk picked up as a hiccup in one place sent a ripple impact across regions.
Fonterra’s tankers, including 76 new arrivals in New Zealand, were being ‘‘shuffled up and down the country’’ to meet the demand.
Mr Romano could not rule out having to spill milk.
That has not happened in a spring flush in more years than veteran industry players can remember. ‘‘I think we have enough contingency plans.’’
Milk collection, on average, is up more than 13 per cent daily.
In the 2011 year, the farmer cooperative collected a record 15 billion litres of milk.