Fonterra takes new approach to community support

Fonterra is taking a new approach to how it provides nutrition to communities, to better reach those most in need across New Zealand.

CEO Miles Hurrell says, as a New Zealand farmer owned co-op, with employees spread right across regional New Zealand, Fonterra is part of many communities. “We’ve taken a good look at what the country is facing into, particularly in the context of Covid-19, and asked if our current way of doing things is supporting the people who need it most.

“We can see there’s a need for us to expand our thinking and take a more holistic approach that reaches more people – which is why we’re making these changes,” says Mr Hurrell.

As part of its new approach, Fonterra will:

Grow KickStart Breakfast alongside partners Sanitarium and the Ministry of Social Development. There are already more than 1,000 schools in KickStart Breakfast, and one of Fonterra’s immediate goals is to work with its partners to have all decile 1 to 5 schools across the country in KickStart Breakfast – reaching another 200 schools – where coming together over breakfast at the start of the school day really makes a difference.

Extend its supply of dairy nutrition further into communities by partnering with NZ Food Network to distribute dairy products to charities, food banks and community partners. Fonterra says it believes it’s not just in schools where it can play a role. During lockdown earlier this year, Fonterra redirected close to one million serves of Fonterra Milk for Schools product into communities through food banks, charities and other partners. The co-op states that working with NZ Food Network will allow it to keep doing this.

NZ Food Network CEO, Gavin Findlay, said: “NZFN is delighted to partner with Fonterra to deliver much needed goodness into the communities of Aotearoa New Zealand. This complements our own desire of ‘getting food to where it’s needed most’. Working together, we will strive to ensure everyone has access to healthy, nutritious food.”

This refreshed approach means Fonterra Milk for Schools, which is for primary school aged children, will wrap-up at the end of this year.

“We’ve got a lot of affection for Fonterra Milk for Schools, but we have to recognise through this refresh there’s a much more efficient, environmentally focused and impactful way to get milk to more kids each day.

“It will be an end of an era and we’re proud of what Fonterra Milk for Schools has achieved – but times have changed and so will we, to ensure we’re always doing our best for those who need it the most,” said Hurrell.

Papatoetoe North School principal, Stan Tiatia, said: “our school community makes high use of the KickStart Breakfast programme and for us it is a time for whanau, staff and children to connect and start the day in a positive state. The programme helps to build community and in times affected by anxiety and isolation the KickStart breakfast time provides an opportunity for connection and care. We are grateful for the work by the KickStart team and know that our community is strengthened by their efforts.”

Fonterra will now talk with schools in Fonterra Milk for Schools, who aren’t also already members of KickStart Breakfast, to see if joining KickStart Breakfast is right for them for the 2021 school year.

“These changes reflect our co-operative heart – good things happen when people come together,” commented Hurrell.

For more information on what Fonterra and partners are doing in New Zealand communities, click here.

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