A day in the life of… Darren Wilkinson, Butter Maker


Darren Wilkinson, or ‘Dazza’ as our people of Fonterra’s Cobden site know him, has been a butter maker for 20 years.

He’s no ordinary butter maker though, he’s a champion butter maker – and it’s not just us saying that, it’s been confirmed – nine times over in fact!

Darren is part of the team at Cobden that make Australia’s #1 butter, Western Star.

At the 2019 Dairy Australia Grand Dairy Awards Western Star Original Salted Butter was awarded ‘Champion Butter’ following a rigorous judging process that included a blind tasting. It’s the ninth time Western Star has picked up the title in Australia’s most prestigious national dairy awards program.

Darren’s hard work and commitment to his work throughout his 20-year career with Fonterra has been a real asset to the team. Manager of the Cobden site, Samir Suri, says Darren has long been Cobden’s ‘poster child’ because of how much Darren goes above and beyond to see that his team is supported and that the butter they produce is of the highest quality.

How does it feel to be a champion butter maker?

I’m very proud to be involved in a great team. We work well together to ensure that we make the best product that we can.

What does a day of work involve for you?

Well, I check the quality of the cream, monitor the process of the butter maker, test the product to ensure it meets our standards, wash machinery and verify through testing the cleanliness. I also work with other team members to monitor and improve operating efficiency.

You’ve been a butter maker at Cobden for 20 years, what do you most enjoy about your job?

The most satisfying part of my job is making the best product that I can for people to enjoy.

What is your favourite way to eat butter?

Simply spreading the butter nice and thick on fresh bread or on a nice hot scone. It just tastes so fresh and sweet, with just the right salt balance – you can’t beat it!