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Zach Ward


Milk Pricing Project Manager


Degree: BBS / BSc (Massey Scholar), Massey University

Having completed degrees in animal science and agribusiness, I was faced with the big "what next" question.

The opportunity to join Fonterra Milk Supply as a graduate at the start of 2005 was by far the best opening that was available to me and one that I couldn't pass up.

Milk Supply is the business unit that is responsible for all of the interactions between farmers (the owners of the Co-operative) and Fonterra. As a graduate I was employed as a general business analyst and had the opportunity to work on a range of projects and initiatives that built on my existing skills, but also allowed me to develop a whole lot of new ones.

Some of the most interesting projects I have worked on include: The Pastures from Space project where we are using satellite imagery to measure pasture cover, Working on the feasibility and initial implementation of a dairy farm that Fonterra is developing in China and New milk pricing initiatives.

These projects have been quite varied and have allowed me to interact with people right across the business. Most recently, I have moved into a role where I focus almost entirely on milk pricing. Each year Fonterra pays out billions of dollars to our farmers, as part of my job I calculate a range of parameters that determine how this money is paid out.

Outside of Fonterra my interests are mainly in farming and on weekends I regularly find myself relief milking various herds in the Waikato. It is always useful to hear what the real owners of the business think and it gives me an opportunity to explain some of the things we are trying to achieve.

Coming from a farming background I still plan to return to this in the future. For now I am enjoying the challenge of working in Fonterra and am trying to make the most of the opportunities that it opens up.