Fonterra Australia will invest $4.3 million to boost cheese and whey capacity at its Wynyard plant.

The investment will increase the plant’s cheese making capacity by 8,000 MT per annum – equivalent to 30 Olympic size pools of processed milk per annum – by quickening every step of the cheese making process.

The extra capacity will help the Wynyard plant keep up with the growing demand for Fonterra’s cheese and whey from its domestic and export customers.

Fonterra Australia Regional Operations Manager South Steve Taylor said the Wynyard factory was a key part of Fonterra’s global multi-hub strategy.

“Tasmania is an important region for Fonterra and our multi-hub strategy, and we continue to invest here for the long-term. We’re a major regional employer and we’re proud of the work we do and our involvement in the local communities,” Mr Taylor said.

“The more we invest for growth the more competitive our business will be, putting us in a strong position to manage global volatility, pay the best possible price to farmers and the best possible returns to our shareholders.

The Wynyard plant has been running at full capacity since a fire destroyed our Victorian cheese plant at Stanhope in December 2014.

Braddon Labor MHR Justine Keay said the announcement was welcome news for North West Tasmania’s dairy farmers.

“With more than 65 per cent of Tasmania’s dairy farms located in the North West, generating somewhere between $250-300 million per year into the economy and employing about 1150 people, it is no surprise, but extremely encouraging that Fonterra continues to invest in both this plant and at Spreyton,” Ms Keay said.