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Cheese demand driving expansion

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January 25, 2018

: Inside the packaging room of the Stanhope factory yesterday.

Stanhope has been given a boost with news of $125million more investment in the Fonterra factory.

The company has only recently completed a $140million expansion of the cheese making production line.

Fonterra says unfulfilled demand for its cheese is driving the new expansion, which will require more milk.

The expansion will create at least 36 jobs.

Only a few years ago a major fire devastated the factory, leaving the town uncertain about the factory’s future.

But Fonterra rebuilt and has since heavily re-invested in the town.

Another milk company, ACM, is also planning to build a new dairy factory only a few kilometres away at Girgarre.

The Fonterra decision will increase cheese production by an extra 35000tonnes for a range of cheeses including cheddar, mozzarella, gouda, parmesan, pecorino, romano and ricotta.

Site manager Jason Wright said the decision was a sign of confidence in the dairy industry.

‘‘We believe in the long-term demand prospects for dairy, and especially for cheese given the growth we’ve seen in food service,’’ he said.

Fonterra managing director Rene Dedoncker said customers wanted trusted supply options out of Australia, especially for products like cheese, whey and nutritional powders which are in high demand.

The Stanhope project is expected to be finished this year.

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