Monday, November 12, 2018
 Milk Powder Plant Officially Opened for Exports to China  

Confidence is more precious than gold in these volatile economic times, say Chinese business leaders beaming about their investment in Synlait Milk.

China’s Bright Dairy owns just over half of the Dunsandel milk processor that has just begun making top-end infant formula for Chinese consumers.

A 900g can of Canterbury Pure will soon be selling in Shanghai supermarkets for $NZ80.

Confidence was not in short supply yesterday when Synlait showed off its $100 million state-of-the-art nutritional milk powder plant to around 300 invited guests, including Chinese dignitaries, politicians, tradespeople who worked on the facility through two major earthquakes and farmers who supply the milk Synlait turns into premium protein.

Synlait CEO John Penno said the company’s focus was on nutritional milk foods for the future, and it planned to grow exports from $400 million to $700 million in just a few years.

Mid Canterbury dairy farmers are a big part of Synlait’s milk supply chain, with some 32,000 cows on 38 farms in the district adding their contribution daily; they make up about one-third of Synlait’s total supply.

Operational manager Neil Betteridge said 110 tanker-loads of milk a day came to the State Highway 1 site, where the new nutritional milk powder plant turned it into 200 cubic metres of specialist powder.

He said the process was so high-tech and automated, milk was never touched by a human hand.

Synlait’s suppliers were top farmers and the new plant had hygiene rules similar to an operating theatre in a hospital.

The traceability from farm to a numbered and sealed can of high-end milk powder is worth paying for in Chinese eyes.

Dr Penno said the infant formula market was tough to crack as consumers needed time to trust the product, but Canterbury Pure’s marketing was leveraged off New Zealand’s clean, green image.

Synlait already exports milk powder ingredients to 42 countries around the world, but is focusing on south-east Asia and China in the next few years.

Dairy farm partners and farm consultants Andy Macfarlane and Phil Everest, from Ashburton, were among the invited guests listening to the Synlait leader as a big screen suspended from the trusses of the company’s new warehouse showed images declaring the company’s new philosophy, to make more from milk.

They were among Synlait’s first suppliers in Mid Canterbury and said they liked the processor’s clear vision of a value-added product.

Mr Macfarlane said connecting business, science and education to farming was critical for the country’s future.

Source: Ashburton Guardian (New Zealand)

Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 (Archive on Tuesday, November 29, 2011)
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