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Fonterra names new global operations head

By Richard Whitehead+ , 09-Jun-2014

The world’s biggest dairy exporter has appointed a new head of global operations, with Robert Spurway taking on the newly-created position on Fonterra’s management team.

According to the co-operative’s chief executive, Theo Spierings, Spurway, who will begin the role in August, is uniquely qualified for the position. 

Robert is currently acting director for New Zealand operations at NZ Milk Products, responsible for overseeing milk collection, manufacturing and logistics for the Co-operative’s New Zealand milk supply,” Spierings said.

One of our top business priorities is to optimise our global ingredients sales and operations footprint, so we can better manage price volatility and increase value, while ensuring a total focus on food safety and quality, and our customers’ needs.”

In his new role, Spurway will lead the integration of Fonterra’s global milk production capacity. While the co-operative’s operations will remain predominantly New Zealand-based, it is important to have more options about what products it makes and where it makes them to complement its New Zealand milk, added Spierings.

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.

Robert’s appointment means he will bring his deep knowledge of the co-operative, and his proven leadership abilities to this next important stage in securing Fonterra’s global relevance.”

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, Spurway oversaw the greenfield development of the co-operative’s Darfield site.

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