The Singaporean conglomerate behind New Zealand’s newest milk processing plant says this is the first step in a long journey.
Thomas Scheres, who milks 420 cows at Putaruru and produces 270,000 kgMS/year, says Olam food ingredients (ofi) is the right partner for the business.
The new milk plant was officially opened this month. It's owned by ofi, an offshoot of Singapore-based conglomerate Olam Group.
Scheres told Dairy News that they looked at several processors and decided ofi was the right partner for their business.
"It was also the right partner for our farming system and to help us achieve our goals in the future," he says.
Planning for the new plant started three years ago and ofi held focus groups with farmers to gauge their expectations.
"I was part of a series of focus groups ofi held early on to listen to farmers about what they want from their milk supply partner, so they could develop their partnership offer in the Waikato," says Scheres.
He says farmer suppliers are happy.
"ofi have shown a willingness to work with us, support us, develop solutions and deliver. They have understood what we needed in our business and their contract terms support this.
"We are happy that the pricing, cashflow, achievable incentives and partnership solutions add value to our business."
One of ofi's high profile farmers suppliers is Colin Armer, a former Fonterra director.
ofi general manager milk supply Paul Johnson says the company is pleased with the number of farmers who have signed on to supply milk. All suppliers are based within 60km from the factory in Tokoroa.
ofi plans to introduce a scope 3 emissions target for farmer suppliers in the coming weeks.
Johnson says the company is getting to know their farmers and what their farm emissions baselines are.
"Once we understand this, then we'll have the programmes to help them achieve scope 3 target," he told Dairy News.