The first slices of cheese have rolled off the new slice on slice line at Fonterra Eltham, in Taranaki, with the plant set to produce enough cheese this year to fill more than three billion burgers.
The first cheese marks the successful completion of the 10 month build to install two new lines that will double the site’s sliced cheese production.
The new individually wrapped sliced cheese line was completed last year.
Fonterra MD global operations Robert Spurway said the new line will help the Co-operative to be more responsive to customers’ requirements.
“Each of our customers has slightly different requirements and uses for the cheese we make for them, and this additional capacity will allow us to meet more than 350 product specifications – that’s 350 very exacting recipes.”
“For example one of the things McDonald’s tests us on is how quickly they can peel the cheese off the block, he says.
He said the expansion supports the Co-operative’s growth in foodservice and is helping drive Fonterra’s V3 strategy.
“We are using more of our farmers’ milk in higher value products, and the production of three and a half tons of cheese every hour shows how fast our new plant enables us to do this.”
“It’s great to see the world wide reach this site has – if you pick up a burger in China, the Middle East or Africa you could be experiencing a little taste of Eltham,” said Spurway.