New Zealand milk processing giant Fonterra has announced its intention to ramp up investment in Victoria and Tasmania, with $165 million of spending planned for this financial year.
While the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria welcome investment in the industry, and regard this as a positive sign about the health of the sector, it will take more than this announcement to rebuild trust.
“We welcome investment in our industry, which is necessary to maintain and expand our international comparative advantage. It is a positive step. But we are conscious that there is still a way to go towards rebuilding trust in the industry,” said Adam Jenkins, UDV President.
Fonterra announced it will invest $165 million this financial year in Victoria and Tasmania, with $130 of that new funding to put in an additional 500 million litres of capacity. Fonterra’s Stanhope cheese facility in northern Victoria will receive $125 million to expand its facilities.
“The Australian dairy industry is a multi-billion dollar enterprise and investments like the Stanhope facility are important for the continued viability of the sector,” said Mr Jenkins.
Victoria’s dairy output is integral to Australia’s export capability, food services and ingredients, as well as growing retail markets.
“In Victoria the cheese plant will help unlock more opportunities in several important export markets, including Japan and China.”
Funds are also being directed to projects at western Victoria, including $13.5 million at Cobden and $8.6 million at Dennington, and a further $7 million for expansion in Darnum and Bayswater.