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Fonterra's ACC Accreditation Saves $2 million

Fonterra's ACC Accreditation achieves $2 million annual savings

Fonterra Co-operative Ltd today signed a contract to join ACC's Accredited Employer Programme. The contract places an even greater emphasis on staff safety and wellbeing and will also realize estimated savings of up to $2 million per year.

The Accredited Employer Programme is a self-management option for large companies who take on the responsibility of managing their own work-place injuries. The programme encourages a partnership between employers and employees to create a safer workplace.

The annual cost savings will be achieved by consolidating five ACC legacy company contracts into one. At the same time, Fonterra will pay a significantly discounted premium for managing their own work-related injury programme.

Fonterra Chief Executive Craig Norgate says the contract achieves two key goals for the company, that of realising savings for shareholders while also making a firm commitment to safety and wellbeing across the business.

"Employee safety and wellbeing is a priority for Fonterra and this package adds to that. Gaining accreditation is just the beginning for us - the hard work will be to continue to improve our safety performance."

Mr Norgate says the focus will now be on two key areas - employee injury prevention through staff education and self-management, and the effective management of incidents and injuries when they do occur.

In order to qualify for the Accredited Employer Programme, Fonterra had to meet stringent financial and injury-management standards and was required to pass a series of audits on four of the company's business units throughout New Zealand.

The four units audited were Fonterra manufacturing sites, Mainland sites, Canpac International's plant in Hamilton and the Fonterra Research Centre in Palmerston North. As a result, Fonterra has been accredited at a primary level, while Mainland has achieved tertiary status and Canpac has reached secondary status.

Mr Norgate says the company will also be striving to achieve higher accreditation levels in the future, with all of Fonterra's business units expected to graduate to a tertiary level over the coming years.

ACC Chief Executive Garry Wilson says qualifying for the Programme is a significant achievement for Fonterra.

"It's a robust process and for Fonterra to reach a common standard across such a wide and diverse workforce is extremely commendable," says Mr Wilson.

"The audit process will also provide the benchmark from which the company can continue to grow and improve upon."

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