Fonterra opens first wholly-owned European plant
In a smart move, the plant is located in Heerenveen in The Netherlands and is next to local A-ware Food Group’s cheese plant; Fonterra will process the whey and lactose bi-products from that adjacent A-ware Food Group factory.
Fonterra’s Heerenveen plant will have the capacity to process up to 2.7 million litres of whey daily and will have an annual production capacity of 25 000 tonnes of lactose and 5 000 tonnes of protein products. Fonterra will employ 50 staff at the plant.
Three variants of lactose powder will be produced at the new site along with a range of protein products including whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, high fat whey protein concentrate and several specialty functional whey protein concentrate powders.
The site was selected due to its proximity to the milk source, with the average distance from farm to site around 35 kilometres. It is also located near a major motorway making it accessible for tankers and logistics transport.
Fonterra says the site will operate to international sustainability standards and will meet the requirements of Global Standards for Food Safety.
A lesson for others
The Fonterra global approach capitalises on its strong New Zealand base of innovative technologies and know-how whilst also capturing the benefits of the EU free-trade environment and the other protective advantages offered by the EU to any manufacturers who produce in Europe.