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Asia Pacific: Fonterra opens mozzarella plant to meet region’s foodservice demand

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Work is complete on a new mozzarella plant at Fonterra’s Clandeboye site, doubling production of the world-famous cheese and creating enough mozzarella to top more than 300 million pizzas a year.

The mozzarella – one of the Co-operative’s most sought after cheeses – is destined for global pizza and pasta restaurant chains across China, Asia and the Middle East.

Fonterra MD of global operations Robert Spurway says the Co-operative has seen growth in consumer and foodservice categories and this expansion will form a key part of that success in the future.

“The expansion at Clandeboye is a great example of our V3 strategy in action,” says Spurway.

“Foodservice products such as cheese give a high value on return and, thanks to our strength in research and development, we’re able to cut months off the production time of this mozzarella to deliver on our velocity proposition. The additional capacity will bring volume to that equation.”

The expansion is part of Fonterra’s wider strategy to build on strength in foodservice, along with the doubling of cream cheese production at Te Rapa, the recent commissioning of the Waitoa ultra high temperature site and plans to expand slice-on-slice cheese capacity at Eltham.

Clandeboye site manager Steve McKnight says the site will begin 24 hour production today, with farmers supplying winter milk to help meet global demand for individual quick frozen grated mozzarella.

“We’re seeing the popularity of cheese really take off in Asia, so the timing of this upgrade couldn’t be better,” says McKnight.

“To meet orders from that market, we will be producing cheese 24 hours a day, making use of our new lines and taking winter milk from our farmers in Canterbury, Southland and Otago.”

Fonterra’s premium performance mozzarella is world-renowned for its outstanding stretch, excellent melt and very characteristic ‘New Zealand’ buttery flavor, he says.

The site expansion has brought 25 new employees, who have finished training and are now working in the new mozzarella plant.