15 Mar 2011

Agribusinesses relocate Christchurch offices

5:32 am on 15 March 2011

Fertiliser and meat companies are among the many that have had to make rapid adjustments to carry on day-to-day business to cope with the disruption of the Christchurch earthquake.

The Ravensdown fertiliser co-operative has lost the use of its head office in the central city, and is now running its operations from its' manufacturing site at Hornby on the western side of the city.

Chief executive Rodney Green says the head office will be fully established at the site within a couple of weeks and will probably stay there for the next six months.

Silver Fern Farms meat co-operative has been shut out of its Christchurch office, which is in the heavily-damaged Red Zone in the central city.

However its two Christchurch processing sites at Islington and Belfast are operating and their water supplies have been used as a source of fresh water for the city.

Silver Fern Farms chief executive Keith Cooper says the biggest impact is a human one and will have a profound effect on how the business looks after people in unfortunate circumstances.

He says the plants were closed immediately following the earthquake because staff were physically and mentally shaken.

Mr Cooper says up to a fifth of the company's 300 Christchurch staff have suffered major damage to their homes and in some cases their houses have been destroyed.