Research and Development

Uncovering the future of dairy

Across our Co-operative, dairy know-how and innovation is part of our DNA. To us, milk is a genuine superfood. 

We’ll continue to uncover its secrets and develop leading products that can help people live better lives. We are paving the way in dairy innovation and science. And the secret ingredient we use to do this? It’s simple, a combination of New Zealand milk and our people. 

Take a look inside the FRDC

Fonterra Research and Development Centre

At Fonterra's Research and Development Center (FRDC), innovation is the heart of our mission. For nearly a century, we have been at the forefront of pioneering advancements in dairy technology, driven by our unwavering commitment to delivering sustainable value from New Zealand's world-renowned milk. We focus on all ages and stages of life, while also tackling some of our biggest sustainability challenges and ensuring we produce high quality safe dairy nutrition.

Our R&D pedigree


1 000+ academic papers

demonstrates our contribution to the academic community and advancement of research.


459+ patents

showcase our commitment to research and development.


60+ global partnerships

indicates our commitment to fostering global connections and leveraging collective expertise for mutual growth and innovation. 


A legacy of innovation

With a rich history dating back to our inception, we have consistently pushed the boundaries of what's possible in dairy. Our scientists, engineers, and experts have played a pivotal role in shaping the global dairy industry. From pioneering milk processing techniques to developing cutting-edge technologies, our legacy of innovation speaks for itself.


Maximising the potential of New Zealand milk

We know New Zealand milk and the incredible potential it has. Our teams are continuously  working to unlock this potential by creating superior products and technologies. We cover a broad wide spectrum, from improving milk quality to enhancing production processes, all while adhering to the highest sustainability and food safety and quality standards.


Collaborative approach

We believe that true innovation thrives in a collaborative environment. Our research and development (R&D) center serves as a hub for collaboration, bringing together industry experts, partners, and visionaries to tackle complex challenges and drive positive change. By fostering partnerships and knowledge exchange, we aim to accelerate the pace of innovation in the dairy sector.


Our vision for the future

As we look ahead, our vision remains clear: to lead the way in sustainable dairy innovation. We are committed to creating a brighter, more sustainable future for dairy by continuously developing new and improved products, processes, and technologies that benefit our communities, farmers, customers and the environment.

Leading experts in dairy science

Amongst our team we have a diverse range of skillsets, knowledge, backgrounds, specialties, and personalities to offer - many are respected and recognised as global leaders in their fields. 

A history of R&D

We continue to push the boundaries of dairy science and technology solutions. With over 350 employees, we are home to a team of expert scientists, technologists and engineers.

Our R&D stories

Read our latest innovation stories to find out how we are creating superior products and technologies in dairy.