ofi has officially opened the first phase of its new dairy processing plant located in the dairy heartland of New Zealand – the Waikato region in the north island of the country. The facility will produce dairy ingredients like whole milk powder to meet growing demand, targeting key customer applications in dessert, bakery, beverage, and confectionery categories.
Sandeep Jain, managing director and CEO of dairy at ofi, commented: “As we continue to expand our dairy manufacturing capabilities and innovation infrastructure, the new Tokoroa plant will become part of a global network that spans major milk consumption markets, such as South East Asia, China, the Middle East, and Africa. The new plant also complements a suite of enhancements made to ofi’s dairy production facility and Ingredient Excellence Centre (IEC) in Johor, Malaysia back in Sep – which, combined with our Customer Solutions Centre based in Singapore, enables us to co-create bespoke food and beverage solutions for our customers. Our dairy business is well positioned to serve increased demand from our global customer base and co-create innovative applications at scale – driving additional focus on the value-added capabilities within our portfolio.”
The Tokoroa dairy ingredients forms part of ofi’s wider natural ingredients portfolio which includes cocoa, coffee, nuts and spices, combinations with dairy for customized products such as yoghurts, protein bars and ready-to-drink tea, coffee and cocoa beverages. The new facility also complements ofi’s existing global footprint, driving partnerships with its customers and strengthening its co-creation capabilities across the region.
The next stage of investment will see further capability added to the facility to develop valued dairy ingredients, expanding the range of ofi’s offering. It will also enable ofi to enhance the value of its milk, generating better returns for its farmer partners in a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable manner.
Naval Sabri, senior vice-president of dairy at ofi, said: “The enthusiastic response we’ve received from local farmers shows that our partnership approach, and ofi’s global reputation as a leading dairy ingredients provider and innovator, has struck a chord with them.”
“The dairy ingredients we’re now producing are nutritious and highly versatile with a desirable texture and flavour. They can be used in many applications from ice cream and yogurts, bakery goods and confectionery items, through to coffee, tea and cocoa beverages,” he said.
ofi’s new facility will also address its customers’ innovation, traceability, and sustainable sourcing requirements, engaging interested customers to secure ingredients from New Zealand’s milk pool with the opportunity to partner on sustainability initiatives.
In Oct, ofi published its first sustainability strategy for its dairy business, Dairy Tracks, which outlined the approach the company is implementing across its value chain. The report further shared how the company will provide direct support to its farmer partners to help them meet their goals to become more socially and environmentally sustainable by 2030.
An example of this is AtSource, ofi’s sustainability insights platform, which links ofi farmers’ environmental plans, greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient reports to its customers to provide transparency across the supply chain. It offers traceability to customers for directly sourced products, providing a fully transparent view of their provenance and sustainability impact, at every step of the value chain.
Through ofi’s reach and experience of running dairy processing facilities across the APAC region, and sustainability insights generated from digital tools, ofi is able to partner with customers to make real change and deliver the products consumers will love.