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Fonterra Suppliers To ‘Test’ Broadband Services

Fonterra Suppliers To ‘Test’ Broadband Services

Fonterra is giving its suppliers the chance to see how improved broadband services may benefit their farming operations.

Chief Executive Craig Norgate says the company is working with a Telecom and BCL partnership to demonstrate to its 17,000 shareholders and suppliers what opportunities high speed internet services may provide their farm businesses.

Company representatives provided written briefs to Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton, Minister of Information Technology and Communications Paul Swain, Minister of Education Trevor Mallard, Associate Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor and Minister for Economic Development and Industry and Regional Development Jim Anderton yesterday to outline the initiative and will meet with the Ministers next week.

“Fonterra believes access to high speed internet services will increase on-farm efficiency and improve information transfer, instrumental to our suppliers maintaining their competitive advantage as the world’s lowest cost milk producers – a cornerstone of our recently released strategy,” Mr Norgate says.

At present, rural New Zealand has only limited access to high-speed internet services. At the same time, Fonterra surveys have shown that 75% of suppliers use the internet to either access information or transact business.

The supplier demonstrations will be held at eight locations throughout the company’s supply base at the end of February and early March.

“We want suppliers to attend these demonstrations and tell us if they think these services will be useful to their businesses.”

If there is strong supplier support for the initiative, Fonterra will continue to work with Telecom and BCL, as well as the Government, to ensure broadband access can be provided to all suppliers in a nationwide solution.

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