Fonterra's Stanhope cheese facility in northern Victoria
Fonterra Australia will invest NZD 141m ($93.9m) in the construction of a new cheese plant at its Stanhope factory, 145km north of Melbourne.
The new facility will replace the hard cheese plant, which was destroyed by fire in December 2014, with a larger and more modern facility for the production cheeses for Australian consumers, as well as the foodservice and export markets. The site will be capable of producing 45,000 metric tonnes of cheese each year including parmesan, gouda and mozzarella – an increase of 15,000 metric tonnes on the previous plant.
The multi-million dollar project will secure the future of the site and generate up to 30 jobs, and is being supported by the Victorian Government through its Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund.
“Fonterra’s significant investment in their Stanhope facility is a major vote of confidence in Victoria’s dairy industry and confirms regional Victoria’s reputation as a great place to do business,” said Victoria’s minister for regional development, Jaala Pulford.
Fonterra Oceania managing director Judith Swales added: “Today’s announcement is strategy in action, where we are delivering on our strategic plan to transform our Australian business and return it to strong and sustainable profitability.
“We are focusing on areas where we can win in a highly competitive market, and that means optimising our product mix and investing in higher value-add products that will deliver the best returns for our farmer shareholders. Rebuilding and expanding our Stanhope cheese plant is key to this.
“As the branded market leader in the AUD 1.95bn retail cheese category, with Bega, Mainland and Perfect Italiano commanding 23% market share, the new plant will supply our Australian consumer and foodservice businesses, and export markets.
“It will leverage our footprint in 100 markets and also the recent free trade agreements with China, Japan, and Korea.”
Swales also revealed that the new plant is an important part in Fonterra’s multi-hub strategy, which sees its Australian business play to its ingredients strengths in cheese, whey and nutritionals complemented by the consumer and foodservice businesses.
And, she continued: “The new plant will require significant growth of the local milk pool by 2020, and demonstrates Fonterra’s commitment to growing the industry long term. It means our local farmers can be assured of the future of dairy in northern Victoria.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2024