Fonterra's largest site gets bigger with butter


Fonterra Australia’s largest site is set to get bigger thanks to a $13.5 million investment to boost butter production.

The Cobden site is in the process of implementing a number of projects including the installation of robotic palletisers as well as improvements to the butter plant which will boost its capacity and improve product yields. Cobden produces Australia’s leading butter brand Western Star. 

Also in Western Victoria, Fonterra Australia’s Dennington site has secured around $8.6 million for a new 25kg packing line for nutritional powders. 

Kevin Brown Regional Operations Manager – West for Fonterra Australia says both sites are included in a capacity expansion program worth around $165 million across seven of Fonterra Australia’s sites, all of which are at peak capacity.

Mr Brown says it is important in dairy to have the capacity to manage seasonal peak flows and to produce a high quality product year-round.

“Overall dairy demand is positive and we need to keep investing ahead of the demand curve.”

Mr Brown says both sites have turned in great performance during the peak production period in October and November, making the most of milk collection from our farmers.

“Farmers have had great conditions for production and they have been making the most of them. They’ve put in the hard work to fill the vats and now we need to turn the milk into great dairy foods for the domestic and export markets.”

Cobden and Dennington are part of the plan to grow production across Fonterra’s seven Australian sites by growing milk supply, which it expects will come through growth from existing farmers, coupled with milk from new suppliers.

Fonterra currently collects two billion litres in Victoria and Tasmania, which has grown by around 400 million litres this season. An additional $8 million has been invested in 14 truck and trailer units which will be manned by an additional 15 drivers across its milk collection regions in Victoria and Tasmania.

About Fonterra’s Cobden and Dennington sites

  • Cobden is Fonterra Australia’s largest site producing butter and spreads, milk, milk powders and cream, including Western Star™ butter and Anchor™ milk.
  • While Dennington produces a range of milk powders for the domestic and export market.
  • Combined, the sites employ over 400 people directly and 1,825 indirectly in the wider economy.
  • In 2015, Fonterra invested $31 million into a new beverages plant, the most advanced bottling facility in the southern hemisphere which created 30 new jobs.