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The coolroom expansion will increase storage capacity of butters and spreads once they come off the production line, enabling the storage of more products to keep up with growing demand.
Fonterra Australia Regional Operations Manager West Andrew Nooy says the investment is necessary to make more room for Western Star, with sales of the award-winning butter reaching $150 million last year, and continuing to grow.
“Western Star is going from strength to strength, winning a bigger slice of the butter and spreads market as consumers shift back to eating more natural foods and incorporating it into their cooking.
“One pack of Western Star Butter is sold every minute in Australia, and the coolroom expansion will give us plenty of room to keep up with demand.”
The expansion will also use innovative technology, including Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs) to take finished product off the line and stack away into flow-through pallet racking, increasing efficiency.
“AGVs and flow-through pallet racking are already in use in our state-of-the-art Beverages Plant, and are highly efficient, as they reduce handling of the finished product,” says Andrew.
“Importantly, introducing the same technology to the Spreads coolroom will improve the safety of the site for our people by segregating pedestrians and forklifts, reducing the risk of a collision.
“With Cobden now Fonterra’s largest Australian site, employing over 300 people, it’s critical that we keep our people safe.”
The works will take approximately seven months to complete, with over 25 contractors onsite for the duration of the expansion project.