Edendale celebrated 140 years in operation earlier this month – on January 18 1882 the Edendale dairy factory commenced operations, placing the first batch of the cheese on the press at 3pm sharp. The site is still going strong as NZ’s oldest dairy processing site.
46 years since his first day, Cheese Plant Manager, David Thwaites, is still living and breathing cheese and now heads up the team at Fonterra Edendale’s cheese plant.
“We worked hard and then we played hard. There was plenty of events – we were one big family and you just enjoyed each other’s company. Over the years we have produced some award-winning cheeses, which we are all proud of.
“When I first started, they were still delivering milk by car and trailer to site. We made our own starter for the cheese cultures.
“As a rugby player for 20 years, I believe team sport is no different to working within a workforce. If you look smart, you play smart. It’s the same in the cheese factory. You do things well and get the rewards out of it.
“On the rugby field you have some passion and pride in what you do, I’m proud to say the same about my job and team at Edendale,” says David.