Saturday, 28 March 2020 12:23

COVID-19: Better than expected for Open Country Dairy 

Written by  Staff Reporters
Steve Koekemoer. Steve Koekemoer.

Open Country Dairy (OCD) says it’s operating in a near ‘business as usual’ state under Alert 4 restrictions.

The news from New Zealand’s second-largest dairy manufacturer is a positive break as New Zealand’s number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow.“We feel lucky and privileged that our business is operating in a ‘business as usual’ state even with the strict Government rules in place,” said chief executive officer Steve Koekemoer in an email update to staff and milk suppliers.

“We might experience inefficiencies here and there as everybody settles into the new norm but have so far not had any restrictions on ordering raw materials or shipping containers, which is a better result than many would have expected at this point in the process.”

Koekemoer says milk is coming into OCD’s sites as usual and volumes are tracking at forecast.

The OCD team is in good spirits and they have quickly adopted the new measures, such as keeping a two-metre distance between one-another, under the new Alert 4 requirements. 

Koekemoer says the customer perspective of OCD has been somewhat unaffected. 

“From a customer perspective most of our markets are also operating as essential

services and customers continue to manufacture as normal in the food sector.

“Our sales team carries on selling as per our policy, and we see continued demand for dairy

products.”

However, OCD has had to put some of its growth on hold.

“The lockdown has created some challenges for our capital projects with all non-essential

projects now being put on hold and people being asked to isolate,” said Koekemoer.

“Our contractors are not sitting idle and are already working on a schedule to ensure we make good for the time lost once the lockdown is lifted, which gives us comfort that we will be able to resume work quickly when we are allowed to.”

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