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Asia Pacific: Fonterra opens cheese plant in NZ

Fonterra opens its new slice on slice cheese plant extension at Eltham, New Zealand, which can produce enough cheese to fill more than three billion burgers each year.

This 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.

“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 different product specifications – that’s 350 very exacting recipes,” says MD global operations Robert Spurway.

“For example one of the things McDonald’s tests us on is how quickly they can peel the cheese off the block.”

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,” he adds.

“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.”

“As tastes become more westernized, particularly in Asia, we are seeing a big increase for ingredients to make products such as burgers, pizza and pasta,” says Director Global Foodservice Grant Watson.

“Globally, foodservice is growing at 6% annually and expansions such as this one at Eltham help us to capitalize on that growth.”