A fire destroyed Fonterra’s primary cheese plant in Stanhope, northern Victoria, in December 2014, which meant much of its cheese production moved to New Zealand while a replacement cheese plant was being built.
The new $140 million cheese plant has now been fully commissioned, and is making a range of cheeses from the high-quality milk Fonterra sources from its dairy farmers in northern Victoria.
The new cheese plant is twice the size of the former plant, with state of the art technology ensuring the best Australian-made cheese is produced. It processes 1.3 million litres of milk every day, supplied from more than 300 Victorian farmers.
“Northern Victoria is the heartland for dairy, and that’s why Fonterra has made this significant investment in Victoria’s food bowl,” says Jeff Dhu, Director Foodservice, Fonterra Australia.
“The Stanhope community supported us so much in the aftermath of fire, and we’re thrilled to be back here, making Australian-produced cheese for Australians and the world.”
High quality cheese has been manufactured in the thriving community of Stanhope since the early 1920s.
The new Stanhope facility specialises in the production of mozzarella marketed under the Perfect Italiano™ and Mainland™ brands -- prior to its opening, these products had been made in New Zealand. Fonterra has conducted extensive internal product testing as well as external end-user trials to ensure the new mozzarella produced in Stanhope delivers the same great quality and performance that the foodservice market has come to expect.
Foodservice professionals will recognise the new Australian-made Perfect Italiano™ mozzarella cheeses from their new-look packaging. And with the move to manufacturing at the new Stanhope facility, the former 10kg Perfect Italiano™ Traditional Mozzarella Block has been replaced with a 5kg Block, with the lower weight making it easier to handle, shred and store.
Fonterra’s world-class Stanhope facility will supply both domestic and export markets, supporting Australian jobs, reducing the food miles between farm, factory and delivery, and ensuring consistency of both quality and supply.