Fonterra Australia announces funding to expand Wynyard operations

High production: Fonterra Australia Wynyard plant manager Darren Smart is ready for an expansion. Picture: Brodie Weeding.
High production: Fonterra Australia Wynyard plant manager Darren Smart is ready for an expansion. Picture: Brodie Weeding.

Fonterra Australia’s Wynyard plant could be “crawling with workers” as a multi-million dollar investment is rolled out to boost the company’s dairy processing capacity. 

On Monday Fonterra Australia committed to investing in the expansion of operations in Tasmania and Victoria.

Managing director Rene Dedoncker said Fonterra’s Wynyard plant had the capacity to increase production by 18 per cent. 

“The categories we work in, like cheese in Wynyard for example, and the customer set that we talk to, we’re very clear on what we’re good at so we’re staying very focussed on that,” Mr Dedoncker said. 

“We do need more capacity to suit those needs, so Wynyard is part of the answer.” 

Mr Dedoncker said Fonterra’s Spreyton facility would be required to process more lactose while Wynyard processed more cheese. 

He said he didn’t expect significant changes in labour requirements.

“As soon as you increase capacity it does cover capital investment, so we will see more people crawling all over the sites helping us upgrade capacity – that I guess, indirectly creates opportunity and it also means we need more tankers on the road, more drivers,” Mr Dedoncker said. 

Fonterra Wynyard plant manager Darren Smart said Fonterra had shown confidence in its Wynyard operations. 

“We’ve got the capability, we’ve got the scale and the capacity – there shouldn’t be too many bumps in being able to achieve the set objective,” Mr Smart said. 

Mr Dedoncker said further financial detail would emerge in coming months.