Goodman Fielder New Zealand managing director Tim Deane has resigned.

Australia chief executive Julie Coates will take charge of the food manufacturer's New Zealand operation, making her role trans-Tasman.

Goodman Fielder's brands include Edmonds, Ernest Adams, Meadowfresh, Puhoi and Molenberg.

The company is Fonterra's main competitor at the supermarket chiller and sources its milk supply at a regulated price from Fonterra under the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act.

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Before joining Goodman Fielder, Deane was a senior Fonterra executive.

The move comes amid expectations Singapore's Wilmar International will go to full control of Goodman Fielder by buying the remaining 50 per cent that it does not already own from Hong Kong's First Pacific.

Wilmar and First Pacific paid about A$1.3 billion for Goodman Fielder nearly four years ago.