Investing in dairy

Fonterra has announced the investment of $44 million to increase production capabili­ties across its eleven produc­tion sites in Australia.

The investment initiative comes out of Fonterra’s newly formed ANZ business unit, which brings together a num­ber of Australia and New Zealand food companies to strengthen the company’s abil­ity to develop innovative prod­ucts and drive growth in the dairy sector.

Fonterra’s upgrade of pro­duction technology, equipment and processes will enable it to meet consumer demands for top quality, convenient and nutritious food.

“A main focus of Fonterra Australia and New Zealand is to drive sustainable growth in the dairy sector by developing innovative products and dif­ferentiating ourselves from our competitors,” Fonterra gener­al manager operations and sup­ply chain Bruce Donnison said.

“This involves looking at the entire supply chain and devel­oping ways to maximise our infrastructure, enhance manu­facturing capabilities, logistics and warehousing solutions, packaging formats and shelf presentation.”

Over the next year a num­ber of capital projects will be undertaken to upgrade process control systems tech­nology, maximise plant output, minimise downtime and main­tain dairy food quality and integrity.

A $17 million upgrade of the company’s Darnum Park site in Victoria has extended its production capabilities to include nutritional and infant milk powders. A new milk dryer enables the site to produce up to 6.5 tonnes of milk powder/hour and high-speed product pack­ing lines are able fill 10 tonnes of milk powder/hour.

“This is an example of build­ing production infrastructure that is efficient, flexible and meets consumer needs,” Donnison said.

“The nutritional baby food products will service the South East Asian market.”

A new milk dryer and bag­house system will be installed at Fonterra’s Cobden, Victo­ria, dairy manufacturing site in 2008. The multimillion dollar upgrade will enable the site to manufacture a wider range of high-quality, specialised milk powders.

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