Fonterra expands with new plant in the Netherlands
New Zealand-based dairy giant Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited (Fonterra) has commissioned its new dairy ingredients plant in Heerenveen, in the north of the Netherlands.
The Company, as one of the world’s major commodity players specialising in dairy products, can now reach every market in the EU, despite having its headquarters and its own rival manufacturing facilities in New Zealand and Australia. Its European production facility sources raw dairy product mainly from the EU.
Built on a 25 hectare site that has been developed in partnership with Dutch cheese manufacturer A-ware Food Group, the plant is Fonterra’s first wholly owned and operated ingredients plant in Europe.
The plant produces whey and lactose specialty ingredients that will be used in high-value paediatric, maternal, and sports nutrition products by Fonterra and its global customers.
Chief Executive Theo Spierings said the plant forms part of Fonterra’s fully integrated global supply chain from the farm gate direct to global consumers, using Fonterra’s milk pools and manufacturing sites in New Zealand, Australia, and Europe.
“The commissioning of our new plant in Heerenveen further strengthens our ability to deliver high quality, advanced dairy nutrition that meets the needs of our priority markets and global customers,” Mr Spierings said.
Plant will commercialise whey protein ingredient innovations
Mr Spierings said Fonterra had “substantial intellectual property” in the manufacture of functional whey protein ingredients and had been looking “for some time” for a source of high quality whey to enable the Company to commercialise these innovations.
“Our partnership with A-ware Food Group fits well with our strategic priorities aimed at increasing the volume and value of our ingredients and branded products,” Mr Spierings said.
Fonterra Regional Director for Ingredients in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Russia & CIS (EMEA) Hans Huistra said the plant’s location and capacity would enable Fonterra to better serve its European and global customer base, delivering a secure, reliable source of high quality ingredient products.
The new plant will produce 5,000 metric tonnes of whey protein and 25,000 metric tonnes of lactose annually. It will operate around the clock: 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Approximately 50 new employees currently work for Fonterra at the site.
A-ware Food Group’s adjacent cheese plant was also recently commissioned on schedule.