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Tankers getting through in spite of storm

MEDIA RELEASE – 18 April 2014

Tankers getting through in spite of storm

Widespread power outages, slips and tree falls across roads as a result of the severe storm in the last 24 hours are inhibiting communication with Westland Milk Products’ shareholder suppliers on the West Coast, but the company says its tankers are getting through to collect milk where there is access.

General Manager Operations Bernard May says the Hokitika factory is operating as normal and milk is being processed. “Every effort is being made to get tankers through to pick up milk and we expect most farms will have their silos cleared today.”

May says communication has been cut off to most of its Buller area farms and some in South Westland. “We’re using radio announcements, notices on our shareholder intranet portal and one-on-one communication where we can, to get messages to farmers.”

“The key messages we are getting out to farmers are:

• If farmers have electricity they should milk as usual and store milk in their silos.

• If farmers are reaching capacity in their silos they should put off milking as long as possible in the expectation tankers will get through and they can milk once their existing storage has been collected.

• If suppliers are at storage capacity and disposal of milk seems unavoidable, farmers should make every effort to contact the company, via the Transport Office first to get a report on how far away tankers are as collection might well be only a short time away.

• If disposal of milk becomes absolutely necessary, farmers should follow the prescribed procedure for milk disposal to effluent holding ponds.

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