Australian Chobani factory to serve as “dairy export hub” into Asia
American-based yogurt company Chobani yesterday opened a $30 million yogurt factory in Victoria, anticipating it will serve as an export hub to drive further growth of Australian dairy into Asia.
According to Chobani, the new plant based at Dandenong South, will fuel growing Chinese demand for the company’s main brands “Chobani Greek Yoghurt” and “Gippsland Dairy.”
Victoria’s agriculture minister the Honourable Peter Walsh MLA, said that the “expansion was good news for Australian dairy farmers” and was a “strong vote of confidence in Victoria’s valuable dairy sector.”
Chobani purchased Victorian dairy company Bead Foods in 2011 and has added over 3,000sqm of wet processing and cool room facilities to the existing operation – effectively tripling production capacity to over 30,000 tonnes of yogurt per annum.
Hamdi Ulukaya, President, global CEO and Founder of Chobani said that the company had “come a long way in just five years.” Originally founded in 2005 after Mr Ulukaya purchased a closed-down Kraft plant in the United States, Chobani is now regarded as the most popular yoghurt brand in America, and is quickly expanding in the Australian market.
“We chose Australia as our first international market to launch Chobani because of its amazingly high quality milk, and we knew that Australians are passionate about great-tasting food. The completion of this facility is the realisation of a dream that I have had for some time now, and I am truly humbled by the warm welcome Australia has given Chobani,” Mr Ulukaya said.
Chobani Australia has increased the number of manufacturing and management staff with the opening of the new plant, creating 50 new jobs in the last year. It is expected that another 150 additional jobs will be added now that the plant is operational.