The site currently produces more than 80,000 cartons of UHT milk and cream every hour for global markets, and with a new line added by the end of 2017 – the third in the last 12 months – another 15,000 packs per hour capacity will be added.
Fonterra chief operating officer global operations, Robert Spurway, said the continued expansion at Waitoa UHT is being driven by the success of the cooperative’s consumer and foodservice business keeping pace with the ongoing demand for New Zealand dairy.
“Exports of UHT cream in particular have grown rapidly - more than doubling in the past two seasons,” Spurway said.
“Much of this growth has been fueled by Asia as they look to include more dairy in their diet. This has led to some outstanding results – sales of cream to tea kiosks have increased fivefold in the past two years.”
He said the NZ$162m (US$112m) investment in UHT production at Waitoa over the past five years is part of the company’s strategy to continue moving more milk into higher returning products.
Spurway added the investment has also created 150 new jobs at the Waitoa site.