Established in 1968, Reporoa was one of the many factories owned and operated by the NZ Co-operative Dairy Company Limited and was designed to process lactic casein and whole milk powder.
At this time, it was home to the most modern casein factory in the country – being able to meet the high standards and stringent specifications demanded by world markets. 80 per cent of the site’s production goes in to making sodium caseinate – a highly nutritious product used in hospitals for sick patients. The other 20 per cent goes in to making total milk protein sold to America to be used in sports nutrition.
Throughout the early 2000’s innovation and automation was becoming more popular and Reporoa was always keen to sail with that ship.
Long standing employee, Valerie Moengaroa has been with Reporoa for 29 years and has witnessed some significant changes.
“Even seeing the pallet wrapping process move towards a less labour intensive automated system. We used to have to blow torch the plastic to shrink wrap product. That’s all done by a machine now,” says Valerie.
Fast forward 50 years and the site has only grown in size and capability. Going from processing 568,000 litres of milk per day to 3.2 million litres per day in peak season.
Every year, as milk collection grew from the original 217 shareholders to the now 329, Reporoa’s tanker depot worked around the clock.