Milk helping in the fight against COVID-19 in USA

30 May 2020 10:48 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

Fonterra farmers, factory workers, teams from the US and even some of the crew at Air New Zealand have been doing their bit to help patients in the US who are suffering from COVID-19.

Hydrolysates, a fast absorbing whey protein used to make high protein beverages that are easy for patients to drink or provide nutrition to those who are intubated, have been in high demand since COVID-19 was detected in the United States.

One of Fonterra’s customers, a medical nutrition company, is playing a predominant role in the COVID-19 response and came to the Co-operative with an urgent request for more hydrolysates to help provide nutrition to patients.

“We’ve worked with this customer for more than 20 years now, we’ve got a good relationship with them – they know when they need to pull a rabbit out of the hat and we’re the magicians that can make it happen” says US based Global Account Director Andrew Maude.

When the team at the site received the order Hautapu and Tirau Site Manager Shane Harris says it was a staggering amount, but a challenge that the team were up for, extending the production season for another month.

“It was about 15% of what we would normally produce in a whole season and they wanted it yesterday, but in true Hautapu style the team rose to the challenge and got to work.

Given the criticality of getting the product to the US the logistics teams worked with Air New Zealand to charter a special flight direct to Chicago to get the product to the customer as quickly as possible.