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Fonterra farmer Tony Wilding has been recognised in the New Year honours list.

Wilding, who farms in the Waikato was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his work in the dairy industry and the community.

Managing Director for Co-operative Affairs at Fonterra Mike Cronin told The Country Early Edition's Rowena Duncum the award was "great to see".

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"Those who know Tony will know he's made huge contributions around conservation, around local community organisations, and just done a lot of heavy lifting in the dairy industry".

Wilding was a committed to Fonterra and a "positive force" in building its "fair and productive share milking industry" said Cronin.

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A Fonterra employee was also recognised for his efforts in the dairy industry with an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Senior research scientist Harvey Indyk, who is based in Fonterra's Waitoa site, won his award for services to analytical chemistry. Cronin said his contribution was "mind-blowing".

"He's developed methods of looking at how you understand milk, making sure that the products are safe, they meet the international regulations, that the labels say the right things.

"Then he did an amazing thing where he was able to work out how you accurately measure levels of vitamin A in milk and that's been taken up pretty much all around the world".

Indyk also picked up the highest honour from the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists for a lifetime of scientific achievement said Cronin.

Wilding and Indyk's awards were good examples of Fonterra's strategy in action and a reminder of dairy farmers' innovation and how they interact with the land said Cronin.

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Also in today's interview: Cronin discussed Fonterra's announcement that it had completed the sale of its 50 per cent share in DFE Pharma.