New Zealand dairy producer Fonterra is in full swing serving the growing consumption trends in China, and working together to build a friendly, open, fair and people-oriented culture to drive its sustainability to the next level.
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According to Teh-han Chow, CEO of Fonterra Greater China, the New Zealand dairy giant has been growing steadily in terms of sales volume and revenue in China over the past two years despite the outbreak of COVID19.

The China market is Fonterra’s fastest-growing market in the world, accounting for more than a third of the company’s global revenue during the 2021 financial year. Chow attributes part of the success to its peoplecentric company culture, which helps to ensure employees are motivated, engaged and invested in.

Healthy culture

Over the past few years, the Fonterra Greater China team has been committed to nurturing a company environment that can help to attract, develop and retain employees.

“Creating a high-performance culture and nurturing an environment where our team members can grow has been one of Fonterra’s key development plans to expand our businesses in China,” said Carol Feng, vicepresident, Human Resources of Fonterra Greater China.

At Fonterra Greater China, each employee has a personalized annual development plan. A variety of learning and development platforms such as the Fonterra Academy, which consolidates both internal and external learning resources to meet professional development needs of individuals, are also in place.

“We give people the opportunity to be part of a learning and development journey,” Chow said.

Efforts are also being made to drive collaboration and help make employees feel that they are an integral part of the organization.

In early 2020, an employee engagement organization called Tatou League was established in China to better engage employees across business units. Tatou originates from the New Zealand Maori language meaning “being good together”.

The league was developed after Fonterra announced a business reset plan at the end of 2019 to integrate all business units in China into one.

Through fun activities such as bakery classes, special dress days and sporting activities, this league helps ensure that Fonterra employees get a chance to work together and know each other better, Chow said.

The company also has quarterly, annual awards and long service awards for individuals and teams to give timely recognition to high-performing employees while encouraging them to leave their comfort zones to deliver higher goals and achievements.

Fonterra Greater China’s continuous hard work in supporting the professional development of its employees, encouraging collaboration and a sound working environment has received a thumbs up from top certification institutions.

Fonterra Greater China was named winner of Top Employer in China by the Top Employers Institute and the Best Workplace award from Great Place to Work, both for three years in a row, since 2019.

“We are honored to be named Top Employer in China and to win the Best Workplace award both for the third year in a row, with the added distinction of being one of the few dairy companies to receive these two prestigious recognitions,” said Chow.

“This is not a reflection of management, but rather an inflection of the team and a reflection of our work environment, which have led our employees and external evaluators to say that we are doing things right,” Chow said.

“We have the right environment for employees to feel a sense of belonging, self-motivation and a desire to continue helping our organization strive forward.”

We give people the opportunity to be part of a learning and development journey.” Teh-han Chow, CEO of Fonterra Greater China

Bright future

Driven by strong market demand and a motivated and engaged internal culture, Fonterra Greater China is positive about its development in China. According to Chow, the company will focus on growing its three business channels — ingredients, food services and retail brands — to strengthen its future growth.

Fonterra will offer more value-added solutions to industrial manufacturers to help them better serve new trends in China including market needs from an aging population and rising awareness of health and wellbeing among the general public.

It will invest in more applications to better support its food service customers across the country, including international food chain giants to tens and thousands of local small customers in lower-tier cities, Chow said.

Chow’s team will also put an emphasis on the consumer sector, which reported strong growth since the pandemic began in 2020.

Looking ahead, Fonterra Greater China will continue to build a work environment where employees feel respected, trusted and at ease to deliver the best they can to create something good for all of its stakeholders including consumers and partners.

AUSTRALIA – The government of Australia has awarded funds to two local dairy companies, Purearth and Australian Consolidated Milk, in an effort to boost local milk production.

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