Fonterra’s expanded Eltham site has produced its first individually wrapped slices of cheese from its new production line destined for supermarket shelves worldwide.
The new line is part of a US$32 million project to bolster the site’s cheese capability, doubling the amount of sliced cheese that can be produced at the Taranaki-based site.
“One of the most exciting things about our consumer and foodservice expansions is they’re almost entirely demand-led, meaning from the moment the first product comes off the line it’s already earmarked for customers in one of more than 100 markets around the world,” said director New Zealand manufacturing, Mark Leslie.
Sliced cheese made at Eltham comprises both individually wrapped slices and slice-on-slice cheese that is used in restaurants and fast food outlets, and is one of the Co-operative’s most in-demand consumer and foodservice products.
“It’s a product that really supports our V3 strategy, to deliver a greater volume of high value products, at velocity,” he said.
“Once completed, we’ll be able to make around 2.3 billion slices of cheese each year out of Eltham, all of it sold into growth markets in Australasia, Asia and the Middle East.”
The second stage of the expansion is due for completion in February next year with the new sliced cheese line closing out the project.