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Although there has been a lot of coverage over what Fonterra has lost recently, there are also some positive aspects to the co-op's performance says Marc Rivers.

Fonterra's chief financial officer told The Country Early Edition's Rowena Duncum the gross margin from the co-op's core New Zealand ingredients business was $1.3 billion, which was up 3 per cent on the previous year.

There was also an improvement in Food Service performance said Rivers, with gross margin up 10 per cent.


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"This is really promising and it's why ... that New Zealand ingredients business and food service are two of the categories that we're prioritising in the new strategy".

Other positives included progress in financial discipline which was illustrated by improved cashflow, reduced debt and significant cost savings said Rivers.

Fonterra's new structure meant it was moving away from having two large central businesses - ingredients and consumer and food service - to having "three in-market customer-facing sales and marketing business units that are spread out by geography" said Rivers.

Now there is Asia-Pacific region which covers New Zealand, Australia and South East Asia, the AMENA region which consists of Africa, the Middle East, Europe, North Asia and the Americas, and the Greater China region.

"This will just better align the way we work to how our customers want to deal with us" said Rivers.

Along with a more streamlined operating system, Fonterra has also simplified its strategy.

"It's about moving from a focus on volume to a focus on value" said Rivers.

Also in today's interview: Rivers talked about the final Milk Price for 2018/2019 and a change in Fonterra's dividend policy.