Earthquake update: Fonterra escapes major damage

By Helen Glaberson

- Last updated on GMT

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New Zealand’s largest exporter of dairy, Fonterra has managed to escape any major damage from the earthquake that hit the country on Saturday.

The company has said that all of their employees are accounted for and safe, with no one badly injured.

Minor damage

As of 6 September, Fonterra was still contacting farmers, with no reports of injuries. However, a few rotary sheds were badly damaged.

Some farms lost their power supply but only a small percentage of them are still going without. Fonterra has helped those farms to source generators.

Regarding production, the company’s Plains site suffered minor damage but work there recommenced on Sunday.

All of Fonterra’s milk has managed to be collected, Given damage to roads, this has been a considerable effort,” ​said the company.

In view of the damage in and around Christchurch, Fonterra commented that it had “got off lightly” with no problems at its Takaka, Brightwater, Kaikoura, Clandeboye and Stirling sites.

With only minimal damage at the Port of Lyttelton, Fonterra did not expect any issues with dispatching orders to overseas customers.

Donation to earthquake fund

Fonterra has also donated $1m to aid recovery in earthquake-affected areas. The money will be made available to the local Mayoral Relief Fund.

We see this as the best way to assist local residents affected by the damage and to help restore vital infrastructure,” ​said the company.

Fonterra is also lending out some tankers in Christchurch to deliver water to those affected.

The dairy provider is also investigating the help it can give through product donations, in particular long life milk, to Civil Defence emergency shelters for those who have lost basic food supplies as a result of damage to their homes and power loss.

The earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand’s second biggest city on Saturday 4 September. Measuring 7.1 on the Richter magnitude scale, it is thought to have cost the country between NZ$1bn and $2bn in damages.

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