New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra said Thursday it was slashing 523 jobs amid a slump in prices for milk on international commodity markets.
Fonterra, the world's largest dairy processor, said it was conducting a review of the business "to deliver value right across the organisation".
"As a result, 523 roles will be disestablished at a one-off cost of NZ$12-15 million (US$8-10 million)," chief executive Theo Spierings said in a statement to the New Zealand stock exchange.
Spierings said the job losses, expected to save NZ$55-60 million a year, were "unsettling" for those affected.
"Reducing the number of roles in our business isn't about individual competency; it is about continually improving the way we deliver performance," he added.
Fonterra's website said it has 16,800 employees, about two-thirds of them in New Zealand. Spiering did not give a breakdown of where the job losses would hit.
The company had record revenues of NZ$22.3 billion in 2013-14 but since then a China-driven boom in diary has ended, with prices halving in the past year.
Increased exports from the United States and the removal of milk production quotas in Europe have added to Fonterra's woes, with Spiering saying the business review was not yet over.
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