Yili, through its New Zealand subsidiary Westland Milk Products, commenced the construction of a new lactoferrin factory in New Zealand. Located in Hokitika where Westland Milk Products is also based, the new facility will cost US$42.58m to build and would enable Yili to rank among the top three companies that manufacture lactoferrin at a commercial scale. The Chinese dairy giant says it could gain around 10% of the global market share for lactoferrin once the facility is operational, since the addition of spray-dried lactoferrin made at the new facility will add to the Group's volumes of freeze-dried lactoferrin.
During a ground-breaking ceremony held on May 26, 2023, Yili Westland's resident director, Zhiqiang Li, spoke about the global market advantage that both Westland and Yili would gain from Yili's investment in the new lactoferrin plant: “Today's launch of the lactoferrin program will secure Westland as one of the world's leading producers of highly prized bioactive ingredients. The investment also signals Yili's commitment to take the global lead in the high-value bioactive dairy ingredients sector.”
Yili says it has developed its own directional lactoferrin extraction and protection technology, which can ‘significantly enhance the quality of protein ingredients and increase extraction efficiency’.
Westland CEO Richard Wyeth added: “We were one of the first to market with this highly specialised protein ingredient, and over the past 20 years have established a reputation as a manufacturer of a product of exceptional quality. Our bioactive ingredients innovation pipeline is well advanced, and we're excited to be a step closer to bringing these concepts to commercialization.”