Fonterra recently unveiled three new processing plants at its Edendale facility on the South Island of New Zealand.

The development, which was opened recently, will allow Fonterra to process 15m litres of milk per day during peak production or 2.4 billion litres of milk on an annual basis.

The facilities milk intake is four times larger that Glanbia’s Belview plant, which has a maximum annual intake of 700m litres.

The expansion of the Edendale plant cost NZ$150m (€91.8m), which included a new milk protein concentrate plant, a reserve osmosis plant and an anhydrous plant.

Fonterra Managing Director Global Operations Robert Spurway spoke at the launch and said the new plants give the co-op the ability to put more product into value added products.

These expansions generate cash not only for the co-operative’s 10,500 farmers but also help to bolster rural and regional economies, he said.

The buoyancy of New Zealand’s rural economies has long been the backbone of our national economy.

Spurway also said the improved plant will help Fonterra deliver on its strategy by allowing the co-operative to shift milk into more products that deliver higher returns.

Fonterra Director Leonie Guiney, said the site expansions had already contributed to Fonterra’s improved performance in the first quarter of the current financial year.

“Our new plants enabled our co-op to avoid incurring additional costs at the peak of the current season.

“We are achieving higher yields and quality, and the flexibility to vary our product mix is enabling us to earn margins above the prevailing market prices,” Guiney said.