Thousands of Cantabrians joined Fonterra today to celebrate the official opening of the world’s largest milk powder drier at the Co-operative’s Darfield site. The milk powder drier, which has already produced more than 50,000 metric tonnes of whole milk powder since it kicked into gear, was officially opened by Selwyn Member of Parliament and Minister for the Environment, Amy Adams as part of a public open day.
Fonterra’s Director of New Zealand Operations, Robert Spurway, said the completion of Darfield’s second stage was great for the local community and means that Fonterra can make the most of the Co-operative’s milk produced in the South Island.
“Canterbury is New Zealand’s fastest-growing dairying region. The completion of Darfield Stage Two means that Fonterra can continue to process the increasing milk volumes and meet the growing demand from customers around the world for quality New Zealand dairy nutrition.
“The milk powder produced at Darfield will be exported to more than 20 markets worldwide including the Middle East, China and Southeast Asia, offering Fonterra the opportunity to continue to build its global presence overseas.”
Mr Spurway said the addition of Darfield Stage Two supports the Co-operative’s strategy of optimising its farmers’ milk, whilst streamlining its operations and supply chain.
“Drier Two will help us to process more milk and optimise production to ensure that we are getting the best value for every drop of our farmers’ milk – even during times of peak milk flow.“
Mr Spurway went on to thank the more than 1,500 staff and contractors that successfully delivered this development, many of whom were from the local community.
Darfield key facts
• Darfield’s Drier Two is the world’s largest milk powder drier.
• The drier has the capacity to produce up to 30 metric tonnes of whole milk powder per hour, and 700 metric tonnes per day.
• More than 1500 staff and contractors worked approximately 700,000 man-hours to deliver this world class milk processing facility.
• Fresh milk is collected from Fonterra’s farmer shareholders’ across Canterbury, delivered by tanker to Darfield, then processed into whole milk powder and packed into 25kg bags. These bags are then packed onto pallets, loaded into containers and delivered to port via the Darfield Rail Link for export to more 20 markets worldwide.