Fonterra chairman John Wilson says weather conditions over spring will be crucial to this season’s milk production.
“Australia is a global ingredients hub for Fonterra’s cheese, whey and nutritionals, complementing our consumer and foodservice businesses,” he says.
Wilson says the new Stanhope plant in Victoria will help meet the growing global demand for cheese that is being driven by a strengthening middle class in key markets.
“China alone is already a $4.6 billion market for protein, and is growing at four per cent per annum,” he says.
Victorian Minister for Regional Development, Jaala Pulford, joined Wilson, Fonterra leaders, local farmers and community members to officially open the new plant today.
The 18-month project saw over 7,500 tonnes of concrete poured, approximately 80 containers of equipment shipped, and over 330,000 man hours worked by more than 200 contractors to build the new cheese plant, which will be able to process up to 1.3 million litres of milk every day.
Fonterra Australia Managing Director René Dedoncker says the new plant will help to capture growing demand for cheese both domestically and across Asia, particularly in China and Japan.
“Fonterra is the leader in Australia’s $2 billion consumer cheese category, the market leader in foodservice, providing dairy solutions to chefs across Australia, and one of Australia’s top dairy ingredients exporters. The new Stanhope cheese plant helps us build on our market position, ensuring we have a sustainable business that delivers to everyone along the value chain.”