NEW ZEALAND – Olam Food Ingredients (OFI), a global leading food and agri-business, supplying food ingredients worldwide, has officially opened its cutting-edge dairy processing facility in Tokoroa, New Zealand.

The facility’s first stage includes a sophisticated spray-dryer unit designed to produce high-value milk powder ingredients for a variety of applications.

OFI has strategically positioned the Tokoroa site to cater to the growing demand for New Zealand-made dairy products in export markets, particularly in dessert, bakery, beverage, and confectionery sectors.

The positive response from local dairy farmers has prompted OFI to initiate a second phase of investments, expanding the range of products offered at the facility.

Operations director Paul Rennie expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support from the local community and farmers, emphasizing OFI’s commitment to listening to farmers’ needs.

“Our approach has always been to listen to what farmers want in a milk supply partner so we could tailor our offer accordingly,” he stated.

Managing director and chief executive of dairy, Sandeep Jain, highlighted the strategic importance of the new plant in meeting the growing demand from OFI’s global customer base.

“Opening our new plant in the heart of New Zealand’s dairy region allows us to meet growing demand from our global customer base for high quality, New Zealand-made dairy ingredients,” Jain stated.

Rennie outlined the plant’s commitment to sustainability, incorporating features to maximize renewable energy use, minimize pollution and water use, and handle waste sustainably.

The facility includes a co-investment in advanced tools and technology to help farmers actively monitor their environmental impact and achieve on-farm emissions reductions.

“We will invest in a biomass boiler fuelled by wood residue sourced from local forests to power the factory, ensuring milk processing is energy efficient and with a low environmental impact,” Rennie added.

“The wastewater from milk processing will be repurposed in an onsite nursery to grow cost-price native plants, supporting farmers with riparian planting.”

Meanwhile, OFI is also conducting an animal feed trial aimed at providing dairy farmers with a sustainable alternative to costlier and environmentally intensive feeds.

The trial aims to repurpose almond hulls and shells into a nutritious feed for dairy cows, contributing to reduced methane emissions and lower input costs.

The new facility has already created approximately 60 new jobs, with expectations of further job creation in subsequent stages of investment.

OFI’s milk processing plant in Tokoroa, South Waikato, was completed in August after a two-year construction period.

Olam Food Ingredients, headquartered in Singapore, is a key player in the global food industry, supplying food, ingredients, feed, and fibre to 20,900 customers worldwide.