Fonterra rejigs public relations arrangements

Last updated 07:14 07/02/2013

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Dairy export giant Fonterra, under scrutiny for its delayed public disclosure of traces of a chemical in milk product, has renewed the contract of its public relations adviser Baldwin Boyle Group for another five years - with a twist.

The deal will see former Baldwin Boyle managing director Louise Nicholson, embedded in Fonterra's Princes St Auckland headquarters for the past year, resign from BBG to become Fonterra's director of public affairs, said spokesman Graeme McMillan, a director of BBG.

Nicholson had also ceased to be a shareholder of BBG, he said.

Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings would manage communications for Fonterra, New Zealand's biggest company and the world's leading dairy exporter, McMillan said.

Nicholson would report to Spierings and communicate Fonterra's strategic plan to BBG, the "outsource" agency for communications which would execute it, he said.

BBG's contract was renewed this month, McMillan said.

Fonterra's public image was tainted in 2008 by the company's exposure to China's baby formula melamine poisoning tragedy, through its 43 per cent stakeholding in the SanLu dairy company deeply involved in the scandal.

Fonterra has come under scrutiny again after its perceived tardiness in the recent DCD residue scare.

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