Hokitika-based Westland Milk Products has been registered as an Essential Service and is processing milk.
The review is part of an overall programme to gain efficiencies and reduce costs to help preserve the best possible return to shareholders during the current global dairy price downturn.
Quin says, he is not going to speculate on how many, or what positions might be affected, until the review is complete, affected staff are consulted, and given an opportunity to provide feedback on any proposed roles under review. The review will occur over two rounds, with the first round scheduled to start this month (September 2015) and the second in February 2016.
Quin says that Westland is also continuing its programme of efficiency gains and a cost saving drive. Some $15 million was trimmed off the company’s budget in the last financial year, but Quin says there will be no let up and that the ‘microscope’ would be on all costs, as Westland responds to the volatile international dairy market.
“The international marketplace for dairy is in a new world era,” Quin says, “with the removal of the European Union milk quotas and softer demand from key markets. The resulting reduction in prices is flowing directly into lower shareholder payouts, which are, and are forecast to be, below the cost of owning and operating a dairy farm in New Zealand.
“A reduction in costs is required to realign our cost structure with the new reality of lower international prices and what is now a much more competitive New Zealand dairy industry.”