The official opening of Mataura Valley Milk’s nutrition plant near Gore today (November 22) marks another step towards creating the world’s best nutrition business, general manager Bernard May says.
Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, officially opened the technologically advanced plant at a ceremony today attended by staff, farmer shareholders, shareholders, suppliers, and central and local government representatives.
“The official opening is an opportunity to bring all our stakeholders together to celebrate what has been achieved,” May said.
The nutrition plant, which started production in August, is part of a strategic plan to invest in the world’s most advanced production technology, people and systems to deliver a broad range of world-class nutrition, including food for babies and toddlers.
“Everyone is working together to achieve our vision to create high value nutritonal products and it’s taken a phenomenal effort, in excess of 900,000 hours, from a lot of people across a lot of sectors to get to where we are today,” May said.
MVM’s major shareholder is the China Animal Husbandry Group (CAHG), which is in partnership with New Zealand shareholders and Southland farmer shareholders. Farmer shareholders are represented on the MVM board.
May said MVM was a model of what could be achieved with a clear vision around creating tomorrow’s nutrition for a growing world.
“We believe we have struck the right balance to achieve a successful partnership model allowing all shareholders, including farmer shareholders, to invest in the global nutrition market, benefitting everyone involved.”
CAHG provided the significant capital investment needed and access to key global markets, he said.
Feedback from MVM farmer shareholders showed they were proud to be involved, were feeling engaged in the business, and highly satisfied with progress as production got underway, he said.
“It’s about delivering on your promises. We’re keeping our milk price above the competition allowing our farmer shareholders to develop a culture of excellence that our nutritional customers can engage with.”
May said the plant was running at capacity, processing about 700,000 litres of milk a day, and the first shipment of whole milk powder left in early November.
“The plant is performing at peak milk processing capacity in its first year with no major issues, producing exceptionally high quality product.”
Nutritional product trials begin in mid December, with the first commercial production set down for February. A rigorous testing process follows, with first nutritional products likely to be leaving the plant in April.
“We’re working hard to build trust and confidence with the world’s best known nutrition brands to achieve our vision of being the world’s best nutrition business,” May said.
MVM’s South45°Milk Programme was the driving force behind farmer shareholders achieving continual improvement, sustainability and excellence across all aspects of their farming businesses.
“This give our consumers the confidence our nutritional products are produced from the highest quality milk sourced from farms in the southern-most dairying region in the world.”
MVM continues to field significant interest from farmers wanting to become farmer shareholders.
“Clearly as our nutritional volumes grow, then milk through our farmer shareholders will need to grow during the next two to three years,” May said.
July 2016- China Animal Husbandry Group (CAHG) announces investment in MVM
December 2016 – First sod turned at nutrition plant site
Mid 2018 – Farmer shareholders confirmed
August 2018 – First milk processed
Late 2018 – MVM nutrition plant commissioned
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