Fonterra - Preparing for COVID19 On-Farm
Planning for the Potential Impact of COVID-19 On-Farm - Last updated: 11 February 2022
Having a clear plan in place should you, an employee or family member contact COVID-19, is key to ensuring your farm can continue to operate effectively. Having a plan will help give you peace of mind that others will be able to step in and help.
There are other planning tools from DairyNZ here
For the latest Government information and advice on managing the impact of COVID-19 cases at your business, head to business.govt.nz.
With the ongoing COVID-19 situation in New Zealand and the fluid nature of restrictions, Fonterra were keen to provide some assurance to farmers around milk collection, safety and animal welfare.
Below are our responses to your frequently asked questions, relating to the impacts of COVID-19 on farm.
1. What should I do if I feel unwell?
If you feel unwell, the best thing you can do is get a COVID-19 test.
While awaiting test results, you can continue to milk. But if possible, it’s a good idea to avoid working in the dairy to reduce the potential risk of COVID-19 on farming operations.
2. What do I do if I, or one of the farm staff have tested positive for COVID-19?
It’s important you follow Ministry of Health guidelines to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID -19.
Please ensure tanker pick-ups are non-contact and let any visiting team member know if anyone is isolating or COVID-19 positive on farm.
3. Can I continue to milk if I have tested positive for COVID-19 and will Fonterra collect my milk?
If you have tested positive, please follow Ministry of Health (MoH) guidance.
We’d appreciate it if you can please let us know so we can ensure tanker pick-ups are non-contact and that visiting team members are aware.
We suggest you undertake a sanitizer clean of the dairy after each milking.
4. Can I continue to milk if I am a close contact?
If you or one of the farm employees is a close contact, you’ll likely be waiting on test results.
You can continue to milk, but if possible, it’s a good idea to avoid working in the dairy to reduce the potential risk of COVID-19 on farming operations.
We suggest you undertake a sanitizer clean of the milking plant after each milking.
5. Does Fonterra test for COVID-19 in the milk?
No, we do not test for COVID-19 in the milk. The risk of milk contamination is extremely low and pasteurisation of milk products inactivates the virus, making it safe for consumers.
6. Is Fonterra supplying Rapid Antigen Tests to Fonterra farms?
We understand the pressure COVID-19 may place on your farming operations, so we've been looking at ways we can support. Our Farm Source team has worked to secure an allocation of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs). We expect to have at least 1 x pack of 5 RATs for every Co-op farm, and hope this will help get farms through until RATs become more widely available.
At this stage, tanker drivers will start delivering to farms from 10 March.
7. Do Farm Source Stores sell Rapid Antigen Tests?
Right now we don't sell RATs in Farm Source Stores. However, we are actively exploring this as an option and continue to build relationships with RAT providers in New Zealand.
8. What is the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for Fonterra employees?
We will be implementing a requirement for all roles at Fonterra workplaces to be carried out by fully vaccinated people from 1 April 2022.
9. Does Fonterra's COVID-19 Vaccination Policy extend to farmers?
The policy is for Fonterra employees and contractors, and anyone visiting a Fonterra workplace. The policy does not apply to customers visiting Farm Source retail stores.
There is no COVID-19 vaccine specific policy for farmers.
We will continue to collect milk regardless of the vaccination status of farmers and their employees.
10. Is Fonterra mandating vaccinations for customers in our Farm Source retail operations?
No, not at present. We are running our retail stores in accordance with the current Government guidance for retail premises. All visitors, retail or trade customers will be required to adhere to relevant public health measures and any additional site-specific health and safety plans, including physical distancing, contact tracing and mask wearing. Having our retail staff vaccinated provides them with an extra layer of protection in light of their interactions with the public.
11. Does Fonterra's COVID-19 Vaccination Policy extend to vendors and contractors in a Farm Source store?
Yes. Everyone who enters a store in order to perform work will need to be vaccinated unless they fit within one of the limited exemptions.
12. Where do I go for more support?
If you need more support, contact MoH, Rural Support Trust or get in touch with one of our team through the service centre on 0800 65 65 65.
For a complete copy of Fonterra's COVID19 guidelines, click here