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Fonterra unveils new site at Darfield

DBR Staff Writer Published 03 December 2012

Fonterra has opened a new Darfield site and kicked-off live share trading among the co-operative’s farmers.

Located near Racecourse Hill in Darfield, the $500m site will produce 85,000 metric tons of instant and regular whole milk powder for export to South East Asia, China and the Middle East.

Of the total 120 people employed at Fonterra Darfield, 75% are recruited from the local community.

The site procures milk from farms of 50 central Canterbury farmers and Darfield Drier 1 can process 2.2 million liters of milk at peak in one day.

To meet growing demand, a second drier, marginally bigger than Darfield Drier 1, will also be added to the site by August 2013.

This will create an additional 60 jobs and bring the total number of people on site to 200.

Drier 2 is expected to process 4.4 million liters of milk per day and triple the site's capacity.

Chief executive Theo Spierings said: "Since August, when the first bags of whole milk powder rolled off the production line, more than 30,000 metric tonnes of high quality product have been produced, destined for customers in China, South East Asia and the Middle East. That's enough to fill about 1300 20-foot containers."

Fonterra chairman elect John Wilson said: "Trading Among Farmers provides Fonterra with a stable capital base and creates the conditions of confidence for us to invest in the most productive areas to add value, grow our brands beyond existing positions and compete strongly in the most rapidly growing dairy markets in the world - South East Asia, Middle East and, of course, China."

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