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Thursday 21 October 2021

Olam Food Ingredients details Waikato dairy plan, makes key hires

15th September 2021 By Staff Reporter | | @foodtickernz

Olam Food Ingredients has confirmed plans to develop a new dairy-processing facility in Waikato after exiting its ownership of Open Country Dairy earlier this year.

(l-r) Paul Johnson and Paul Rennie

The subsidiary of multibillion-dollar Singaporean agri-business Olam International, which supplies food and industrial raw materials to more than 19,800 customers worldwide, has made two senior hires to lead the project in Tokoroa.

It has appointed operations director Paul Rennie, who joins from Tasti Products, and a general manager of milk supply Paul Johnson who has jumped ship from Fonterra to join OFI, which is one of the top three dairy suppliers in the world.

Earlier this year the company sold its 15.19% stake in Open Country Dairy to the Talley’s Group for more $80m so it could reinvest in its own facility.

The Tokoroa plant would become part of its global network that spanned 20 major milk consumption markets including South-East Asia, China, the Middle East, and Africa.

The first stage of the new investment, expected to be commissioned in Q3 of 2023, in time for peak season, would see the construction of a spray dryer facility, capable of producing high-value dairy ingredient products.

Additional facilities would be added over time to expand the range targeting key customer applications in desserts, bakery, beverages, and confectionery categories.

“The Tokoroa dairy ingredients will form part of OFI’s much wider natural ingredients portfolio which includes cocoa, coffee, nuts and spices, ideal combinations with dairy for customised products such as yogurts, protein bars and ready-to-drink tea, coffee and cocoa beverages,” OFI dairy senior vice president Naval Sabri said.

“OFI has 14 innovation centres across the world, where our R&D teams will be excited to co-create new tastes and textures with our expanded range of dairy ingredients,” said Sabri.

He added that the facility would “complement and enhance our ability to support our global customers meet growing consumer demand for products that are natural, nutritious and delicious”.

“It will also help address their innovation, traceability, and sustainable sourcing requirements as New Zealand’s farming standards and high-quality milk are very well regarded.”

Rennie said the new factory would create 50 to 60 fulltime jobs in Tokoroa when fully operational, with more jobs anticipated in future stages of the development.

South Waikato District mayor Jenny Shattock welcomed the move and said the district council strived “to facilitate high-quality new investment that will create new jobs for local people and bring new residents with specialist skills”.



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