NEW ZEALAND – Mataura Valley Milk (MVM) a dairy processor majorly owned by The a2 Milk Co has become the first fully electric dairy factory in New Zealand.

The celebration of this achievement was marked by the installation and commissioning of a new electric boiler, representing the final step in the plant’s transition from coal-fired manufacturing to certified renewable electricity.

The celebrations occurred at an event hosted by Jaron McVicar, Chief Legal and Sustainability Officer of the a2 Milk Company, at the MVM plant, with the presence of esteemed guests including Southland MP Joseph Mooney and Gore District Mayor Ben Bell.

According to McVicar, the conversion to an electric boiler not only underscored the company’s commitment to sustainability but also yielded tangible environmental benefits.

“By eliminating approximately 22,000 tonnes of direct CO2 emissions annually, MVM has positioned itself as a leader in promoting climate-positive outcomes within the dairy industry,” he highlighted.

Mr. Paddy Mc Myler, General Manager of MVM, emphasized that the transition to electric power signifies more than just a technological upgrade stating that it reflects the company’s proactive approach to sustainability and its ambition to pioneer transformative initiatives within the sector.

Meanwhile, MVM chief executive Bernard May revealed that the journey towards electrification has been characterized by collaborative efforts between MVM, its shareholders, and strategic partners.

In addition, he noted that the company had the foresight six years ago to allow for additional electrification so that infrastructure already existed.

It had worked with the local lines company PowerNet on distribution agreements that will accommodate the extra load.

He added that with machinery such as forklifts already 100% electric, the project is aligned with the company’s mission of being New Zealand’s most sustainable dairy company by creating a highly sustainable supply chain and “the lowest footprint that we can for our customers”

May acknowledged that the a2 Milk Company, holding a 75% stake in MVM, has been instrumental in supporting the project, alongside the China Animal Husbandry Group, a key investor since the company’s inception in 2016.

Scott Waddell, MVM’s Capital Projects Manager, expressed gratitude for the recognition, emphasizing the broader benefits of the company’s environmental initiatives.

He reiterated that embracing electrification is not only environmentally responsible but also economically advantageous, reflecting a commitment to creating a sustainable future for generations to come.

”As Mataura Valley Milk paves the way for a greener, more sustainable dairy industry, it sets a shining example of corporate responsibility and innovation, inspiring others to follow suit in mitigating the impact of climate change and embracing renewable energy solutions.”

Subscribe to our food and agriculture industry email newsletters that provide busy executives like you with the latest news insights and trends from Africa and the World. SUBSCRIBE HERE