New Zealand dairy producing giant Fonterra has committed AU$165mn to growing and enhancing its production outputs at numerous sites in Victoria and Tasmania.
It wants to add an additional 500mn litres of capacity in order to meet what it describes as 'unique demand opportunities for dairy.'
René Dedoncker, Managing Director of Fonterra Australia, said: “We have a clear strategy that is delivering sustainable returns. To create value, we need to invest to stay ahead of the demand curve. These investments support our aim to secure positive returns back to our farmers on both sides of the Tasman.”
A breakdown of the spending plans outlines:
- A $125mn expansion at Fonterra Australia’s flagship Stanhope cheese facility in northern Victoria, which will double the size of the cheese plant;
- A $12mn investment in Tasmania, which includes expansion to its Wynyard cheese plant and an increase in lactose processing capacity at Spreyton;
- A further $7mn expansion at the Darnum nutritionals plant in Gippsland as well as the installation of two robotic palletisers in Bayswater in eastern Victoria to improve efficiency;
- $13.5mn for projects at Cobden and another AU$8.6mn at Dennington in western Victoria.
The Stanhope investment largely focuses on expanding the site’s cheese making capacity, and doubling the daily milk volumes it can process.
The investment will double the size of the cheese plant, increasing cheese production by a further 35,000 metric tonnes for a range of cheeses including cheddar and mozzarella. Stanhope can currently produce 45,000 metric tonnes of product including cheddar, mozzarella, gouda, parmesan, pecorino, romano and ricotta.
At Fonterra’s largest Australian site, Cobden, the investment is earmarked for robotic palletisers and improvements to the butter plant that produces Australia’s leading butter brand, Western Star.
The overall investment is expected to lead to the creation of 36 new jobs as well as contraction work during the various expansions.