February 26, 2016
Fonterra opens new plants in New Zealand's South Island
Fonterra has further highlighted its commitment to New Zealand's dairying communities this week as the Co-operative officially opened four new plants across the South Island.
Ribbon cuttings have been held to celebrate successful opening seasons for the new mozzarella plant at Fonterra's Clandeboye site near Timaru, along with three new plants at its southernmost site at Edendale.
According to Fonterra's managing director for global operations, Robert Spurway, these expansions generate cash for the Co-operative's 10,500 farmers as well as helping to bolster rural and regional economies.
"The buoyancy of New Zealand's rural economies has long been the backbone of our national economy. Investing in dairy processing in towns like Clandeboye and Edendale supports the local dairy workforce, brings opportunities for trades, consultants and contractors and has a flow-on effect for a range of local businesses," Spurway said.
More than 60 new full time jobs have been created between the projects, which have also provided work for thousands more throughout the course of the constructions.
"While our preference is to fill roles locally, these expansions are also a drawcard for those looking to move from outside of the region, bringing investment in housing and infrastructure," Spurway added.
In addition to long lasting benefits these expansions have on local communities, they help Fonterra to deliver on its strategy by allowing the Co-operative to shift milk into more products that deliver higher returns.
The expansion of the Edendale site was formally opened this month by Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Bill English with more than 200 people in attendance, including Fonterra farmers, staff, and central and local government representatives.
Ministers Hon. Steven Joyce and Hon. Jo Goodhew were present to cut the ribbon at the new Clandeboye mozzarella plant, referred to at the event as "the jewel in the crown" due to its ability to add value to milk.
Leonie Guiney, Fonterra's director, said that the site expansions had already contributed to Fonterra's improved performance in the first quarter of the current financial year.
"Our new plants enabled our Co-op to avoid incurring additional costs at the peak of the current season. We are achieving higher yields and quality, and the flexibility to vary our product mix is enabling us to earn margins above the prevailing market prices," Guiney added.