Fonterra Pahiatua site recently picked up the Best Medium Site Cup and the Quality Cup at Fonterra's Best Site Cup Awards — otherwise known as the Oscars of Manufacturing.

Pahiatua picked up the hotly contested awards ahead of 25 other Fonterra manufacturing sites throughout the country.

The awards recognise the commitment and dedication from the team in the area. They showcase excellence in dairy manufacturing across a range of categories from safety to sustainability, people to productivity.

"The judges were looking at key metrics focusing over a year — health and safety, quality, sustainability and transformational change," said Graham Thomson, acting site manager. "Our biggest challenge for this year came from Hautapu. Pahiatua won Best Medium Site Cup two years ago, last year being runnerup to Hautapu.

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"We set ourselves a goal of winning that and achieved it. We hadn't won the Quality Cup for a while — we were really rapt. We didn't think we would win the People's Cup three years in a row, we were proud to win it two years in a row and Longburn was runnerup this year.

"That's a reflection of the quality of staff, that's definitely what it's all about. The annual ZGallop Survey measuring staff engagement has gone up in the last four years, Fonterra Pahiatua in now in the top percentile out of all Fonterra sites.

"It's a reflection of what's happening out there. We've been conscious of trying to employ local people as much as we can — there's a sense of community that drives that engagement.

"A number of our leaders have come up from working through the organisation either here at the site or at other sites. We've got a very strong leadership team, something I'm very proud of.

"I'm proud of the engagement with the community. Our 'Winter Workforce' has just been sent out in the community, working under the auspices of the Pahiatua Trust. One recipient said how much it means to him going into winter with his gutters having been cleared by the workforce. It only cost two people for a couple of hours," said Thomson.

Fonterra's manufacturing sites employ close to 7000 people throughout the country in a range of roles from factory processors to tanker operators, food safety and quality experts and environmental managers, all of them working to turn our farmers milk into products that end up in more than 140 countries around the world.

¦Pahiatua site has three powder plants, with a combined processing capacity of four million litres per day. Annual production is 140,000 metric tonnes of whole milk powder (WMP). This is exported to markets around the world, including China, Algeria, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia.

Milk collection is harvested from Northern Hawke's Bay to Southern Wairarapa and Wellington. More than 600 million litres of milk is collected over the season. There are 240 employees and a fleet of 29 tankers.

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