Fonterra rebrands RD1 to Farm Source

Major change is taking place throughout New Zealand, as Fonterra rolls out Farm Source, which includes transforming more than 60 RD1 stores nationwide to NZ Farm Source hubs.

Farm Source combines service, support, rewards, digital technology and financial options for farmers, with local Farm Source hubs supporting major dairying regions throughout the country.

According to Fonterra, the move signals a significant step-up in its relationship with farmers.

“Farm Source is a totally new way we support our farmers and their farming businesses. It’s also about strengthening our connection with the rural communities,” says Fonterra chairman John Wilson.

Launched recently in Methven, Mr Wilson says Farm Source’s seed was discussions with farmers and the ‘together as one’ principle behind co-operatives.

“We have been talking to our farmers a lot about what we can do to further support them and their businesses. We challenged ourselves to come up with ways we could get in behind them as only a co-operative of our strength can do.

“Co-ops have always been about unity and collective strength and we have a lot of both. This is about putting it to work for our farmers so we all benefit. With Farm Source we are taking our relationship with our farmers to a whole new level through connected services and support systems developed for them.”

CEO Theo Spierings said Farm Source, like the co-operative, is “much stronger than the sum of its parts”.

“It is not a programme or a collection of benefits. Farm Source is about connecting farmers with the full strength of our co-operative. Ultimately, we see Farm Source as setting the benchmark when it comes to supporting farmers and providing exclusive benefits beyond the milk price.

“Farm Source is an enabler for Fonterra’s volume and value strategy because it is all about the milk. By supporting farmers to succeed and grow, the co-operative will also grow its milk pool in New Zealand, which is core to the business.

“Farm Source is about working together to grow and succeed together and to reach our ambition of global relevance. We want to access a 30 billion-litre global milk pool by 2025. Farm Source starts here in New Zealand. We will also look to adopt it in other markets where we are growing our milk pools, tailoring it for those local markets,” said Mr. Spierings.

Farm Source was launched from the first Farm Source hub in Methven, a new community asset combining rural supplies retailing with a drop-in lounge for farmers, facilities such as meeting rooms and a home base for Fonterra’s regional on-farm support team.

John Wilson said with Fonterra having a presence in rural communities around the country, the Farm Source hubs could also be the home base for community groups.

“Our farmers are always active in their area, through sports clubs, local charities and service groups and through activity programmes for children. Farm Source hubs will have facilities where our farmers and their neighbours can come together. It all makes for stronger rural communities and families and that is good for everyone.”

Part of Farm Source includes a loyalty programme allowing members to earn Farm Source Dollars for every dollar they spend with Farm Source and its partners. In addition, members will also be able to take advantage of discounts facilitated by Fonterra’s commercial partners.

During the month of October, farmers received 40 percent off Ecolab, Holden are offering a 30 percent saving on the purchase or lease of a Colorado LT Ute, Mobil is providing fuel savings of 18 cents-per-litre from 1 November and Spark is discounting broadband and home phone plans by $10. Meanwhile, Southern Cross is offering a 10 percent saving on all health insurance policies and Carters Tyres is offering up to 25 percent saving on a range of different tyres.

The revamp of Fonterra’s offering will also involve the modernisation of the co-op’s website, Fencepost. In addition to still providing standard information on milk production and quality, the expanded Farm Source online offering will offer those in the dairy industry access to an expanded source of advice, tools and information.

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