Burra Foods to enter milk powder market

South Gippsland based dairy processor Burra foods have announced that they will commence production of nutritional milk powders next year.

The addition of milk powders to the company’s portfolio has also attracted an initial $20m investment to fund the expansion and upgrade to the company's Korumburra plant.

Grant Crothers, chief executive of Burra Foods said that the decision to expand its operations into milk powder production is largely attributed to growing global demand, especially within Asia.

“The global outlook for dairy is strong, particularly the demand for high quality complex products such as infant formula, which is being driven largely by the Chinese market,'' said Crothers.

"We have a proven success in international marketing, a stable and high quality milk supply and many complementary assets so are well placed to enhance production capabilities and enter this high value, challenging market.

"This expansion is a strategic entry into a key market and we expect further investment in additional capability in the medium term.''

Dale O’Neill, general manger of Burra Foods said that the planning approval for the upgrades from the state government will enable the company to reach its strategic goals.

"This announcement underpins our strategy of continually improving the value of our product basket and growing the value, not necessarily the volume of milk processed on the site," he said.

"Infrastructure in South Gippsland has been less than ideal for 'world's best' manufacturing and continues to be sub-optimal however if we can continue to secure State Government support for upgrades we will achieve our potential while the community will benefit from superior services."


Mainland Noble

Product name: Mainland Noble

Product manufacturer: Fonterra

Ingredients: Milk, salt, cultures, enzymes (non-animal rennet)

Shelf life: Keep refrigerated at or below 4C and adhere to the sell-by date stated on the packet.

Packaging: Easy peel, airtight packaging to ensure long lasting freshness prior to opening.

Product manager: Mainland

Brand website: https://www.mainland.co.nz/

What the company says
Do you love the taste of cheese but wish there was a lower fat option that was equally as delicious?

Thanks to the launch of Mainland Noble, you can now choose a tasty cheddar cheese with 30 percent less fat than Tasty, but with equally as much flavour.

It is a perfect option for healthier sandwiches or as a guilt free decision with crackers without having to compromise on taste. Mainland Noble comes in 500g and 250g blocks and can be found in your supermarket chiller – look out for the new brown pack!

RRP 250g – $5.99
RRP 500g – $8.99


Fonterra issues contamination warning for infant formula

Dairy giant Fonterra warned on Saturday that an ingredient used in its baby formula products and sports drinks could potentially be fatal.

The whey protein concentrate could contain a bacterium that can cause botulism – a potentially fatal paralytic illness the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

There is believed to be five batches of the contaminated product, three which are currently being warehoused in Auckland, one in Australia and another in transit.

Parents in both New Zealand and Australia have been urged to not stop using the product, Nutricia Karicare Follow-On formula, immediately.

A statement released by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry said that the department was aware of a possible contamination of a dairy food ingredient which was exported to Australia and are ‘‘working closely with New Zealand authorities to identify any food safety implications for consumers in Australia’’.

It is reported that 38 tonnes of the whey protein concentrate which was manufactured at Fonterra’s Hautapu plant in May 2012, was contaminated by an unsanitary pipe.

Fonterra initially identified an issue in March this year after a product tested positive for Clostridium, (many stains of which Fonterra says are harmless to human health) however a positive test for clostridium botulinum was recorded on Wednesday last week.

“Food safety is Fonterra’s number one priority. We take matters of public health extremely seriously and we are doing everything we can to assist our customers in ensuring any product containing this ingredient is removed from the marketplace and that the public is made aware,” said Theo Spierings, Fonterra’s Chief Executive.  

“We are acting quickly. Our focus is to get information out about potentially affected product as fast as possible so that it can be taken off supermarket shelves and, where it has already been purchased, can be returned,”

“We are working closely with New Zealand’s regulatory authority – the Ministry for Primary Industries – to keep New Zealand and offshore regulators informed.”

Nutricia Karicare is imported to Australia, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.


Dairy Australia to drop Dairy Good logo

Dairy Australia has announced its axing its long running Dairy Good logo, but not everyone is pleased about the decision.

The logo has been used by Australian dairy manufacturers to promote the local industry both domestically and in international markets since the 1980s.

According to The Land, processors received a letter from Dairy Australia last week announcing that all licences to use the logo will cease within six months.

Key factors behind the decision were a low uptake by manufacturers, low recognition by the public and a risk of counterfeiting in overseas markets, including China.

Dairy Australia is now considering other certified-Australian branding options.

Independent processor, United Dairy Power, says the move will come at a serious cost for Australian manufacturers and general manager, Darryl Cardona, has written to UDP asking that the decision be reversed.

Cardona said alternative trademarks including AusBuy and Australian Made cost tens of thousands of dollars a use to use, whereas the Dairy Good logo is free.

Changing products' packaging to no longer display the Dairy Good will also about $1,000 per product, he said.

"I want to see it retained for use in the Australian market … I think it's a silly thing to delete it from the Australian market."

If Cardona's request to have the logo reinstated fails, he has offered to take it over and manage its use by other manufacturers, The Standard reports.

Carbon footprint of the US dairy industry [infographic]

Membrane filtration plays a prominent role in dairy processing. Historically, for every one gallon of cheese produced, ten gallons of milk were required. The remaining nine gallons of residual whey, were for many years simply a waste product, leading to disposal and environmental concerns.

Today, filtration helps isolate proteins and components of whey to create products such as Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC), a very popular compound used in protein powders designed for muscle-building and weight gain.

In this infographic, we have taken a look at the carbon footprint of the US dairy industry, and how whey, traditionally seen as a waste product, can be turned into something much more valuable, including not just protein powder, but also electricity production, and food ingredients.



The Evolution of Dairy Processing [Infographic]
© 2013 Synder Filtration

This infographic was first published on synderfiltration.com


Fonterra expects earnings to fall below forecasted figures

Dairy processing giant Fonterra has announced that the company will miss its forecasted figures by around 7.3 percent.

The company has sighted increased competition in Australia and drought in New Zealand as the two main factors that have contributed to the lower result.

The Weekly Times Now reports that earnings before interest & tax and one-off items will be $NZ0.079b below the forecast listed in its Shareholder’s Fund Prospectus last year, and earnings per share are predicted to be between 45 to 50 NZ cents per share.

"The drought has contributed to a 64 per cent rise in whole milk powder prices on GlobalDairyTrade since early 2013, and this had a temporary but significant negative impact on NZMP's (Fonterra’s marketing brand for its ingredients business) margins," said Fonterra’s chief executive Theo Spierings.

Despite a drop in EBIT, annual dividends of NZ 32 cents per share will remain unchanged along with the company’s forecast cash payout to farmer shareholders of $NZ6.12.

Farmgate prices will also remain in line with forecasted results at $NZ5.80 per kilograms of milk solids.

Fonterra is expecting to release its full earnings in late September. 


NZ yoghurt brand joins fight to protect bees

New Zealand yoghurt brand, De Winkel, has partnered with the National Beekeepers Association (NBA), launching a nationwide bee-friendly planting movement.

The program is supporting the NBA's Bee Aware campaign, which aims to help New Zealand's threatened bee population.

NBA spokesperson, Daniel Paul, said bees pollinate roughly one-third of everything New Zealanders eat and therefore need to be protected.

"In addition to the critical role bees play in our food supply, they contribute about $5.1b to the New Zealand economy. But the bees are under threat from the Varroa mite, honey imports, insecticides and a general lack of food supply – in other words, plants for bees to pollinate. We’re grateful to have De Winkel on board as a partner to help us spread the word."

De Winkel's bee-friendly planting movement will see over 110,000 bee-friendly seeds distributed to customers through in-store promotions and via seed paper inserts in magazines.

A bee-friendly garden will also be donated to the Sustainable Living Centre Organic Gardens and Community Allotments in New Lynn in September.

De Winkel's partnership with the NBA coincides with the launch of its new De Winkel All Natural Gourmet Fruit Yoghurt range including Mango and Blood Orange; Boysenberry and Apple; and Nectarine and Apricot.


Anchor closes recycling loop for light-proof milk bottles

Anchor, a division of Fonterra, has announced its new light-proof bottles are now part of a fully closed loop recycling system in New Zealand.

The company released the milk bottles, made from the same HDPE plastic as its predecessor, in April and were considered a world-first as the triple layer keeps light out, helping the milk to stay fresh right throughout its shelf-life, which in the new bottles is 15 days.

However consumers complained that they couldn't see how much milk remained in the bottles after opening them, and recyclers argued that more energy and resources were required to manufacture the bottles, compared to their single-layer counterparts.

Anchor group marketing manager, Craig Irwin, insists the bottles have always been recyclable, but says now recyclers can use 100 percent of recycled Anchor bottles in the manufacture of new products.

"What we’re proud to announce today is that we have closed the loop by lining up recycling separators with recycled product manufacturers.

"We have worked with the recycling community to ensure the recycling separators are aware of the opportunities to receive high returns for the new bottles by selling to domestic recycling manufacturers, who say they have more than 100 percent capacity to use all Anchor bottles, rather than shipping overseas,” he said.

According to an Anchor statement, manufacturers including Astron, Rural Direct, Comspec and Replas have agreed to use recycled Anchor bottles in the manufacture of a wide range of products.

The bottles have already been used in the production of recycling bins, slip sheets, cable covers, agricultural pipes, drainage coils and a new Hungry Bin food composting system.

Environmental manager at Anchor, Nic Bishop, said Kiwis can recycle the new bottles exactly how they always have.

"Kerbside collectors and transfer stations or community recycling stations throughout New Zealand will accept Anchor bottles. The bottles are in demand from New Zealand recycled product manufacturers, who have indicated they will pay around $400 per tonne. We encourage recyclers to take up this offer," he said.


NSW Murray Goulburn suppliers win in new milk deal

NSW suppliers of Murray Goulburn milk could receive up to $1.50 per kilogram of milk solids more than suppliers in Victoria as the company set up its new processing facility in Sydney.

Murray Goulburn said that the NSW market would receive approximately 10 percent more than southern producers based on specific requirements such as fixed volumes and flat milk supply the Weekly Times Now reports.

A spokesperson for MG said that as the processor is entering the well established NSW marketplace, pricing had to be in line with that market.

"It requires very specific milk production for that market," the spokesperson said.

A Murray Goulburn milk payment table for the Sydney market region stated that suppliers will receive a base price of $5.71/kg of butterfat and $8.57/ kg of protein. Whereas the average price in Victoria is approximately $3.27/kg of butterfat and $7.80/kg protein.

The announcement of Murray Goulburn’s new $60m milk processing facility in Western Sydney came earlier this month and the new site, which was formerly a quarry site, is located in Erskine Park spanning 5ha.

The dairy processor announced a $2b deal with supermarket giant Coles in April this year for the supply of its house branded milk over a 10 year period. 


Dairy leader named as new AIFST president

Anne Astin has been named president of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology.

Inducted last night for a two year term at the 46th AIFST Convention in Brisbane, Dr Astin’s appointment follows two years as AIFST president elect.

Astin is the former CEO of Dairy Food Safety Victoria, a director of Australian Dairy Farmers Limited, chair of Wellsprings for Women Inc (a not-for-profit organisation supporting isolated women) and a member of the Audit and Risk Committee of EnergySafe Victoria as well as Innovation Australia’s Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Committee.

Outgoing president Jo Davey said that Astin is passionate about food safety and maintaining Australia’s enviable food industry reputation.

"She has been widely praised for her commitment to empowering people to reach their full potential – a dedication that aligns perfectly with AIFST’s most important role of supporting the professional development of its members, she said.

A trained biochemist, Astin's work has attracted significant accolades including the Public Service Medal (PSM) of the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the dairy industry, national food regulation and rural women. She was inducted into the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll for her work in biochemistry and as an advocate of women’s leadership, and she was the first woman to receive the Australian Dairy Industry Council’s Outstanding Service Award.

"I look forward to continuing to position AIFST as a world leader in food science and technology, providing members with services and support that benefit them and building a sustainable and vibrant 21st century organisation," Astin said.

"I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank outgoing president Jo Davey for her tireless work, leadership, passion and insight in guiding the AIFST through a period of great change that has seen the organisation move to a place of greater relevance and engagement of members."


Aussie named as Chobani president

The American Greek yoghurt brand, Chobani, has appointed David Denholm, ex-MD at Kellogg Australia/New Zealand, as president and chief operating officer.

The company also named Peter McGuinness as its new marketing and brand officer, effective 22 July.

Denholm's appointment is effective 29 July.

"I founded Chobani with a vision to create something lasting—a company that creates nutritious, delicious products made with only natural ingredients for everyone," said Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani founder and CEO.

"David and Peter share my passion and entrepreneurial spirit. I am confident their business intelligence, knowledge of the global consumer and vision is exactly what we need as we continue to grow our business."

According to retailingtoday, Denholm has more than 20 years experience in consumer packaged goods in the US and key growth markets like Asia.

His previous roles include president at U.S. Morning Foods; SVP, Kellogg Company; general manager for Kashi; and president, Kellogg Asia Pacific.

"Chobani is a once in a lifetime company — equal parts vision, passion, goodness and performance. I am deeply honored to join Hamdi and the rest of the organisation as we prepare to enter our next chapter," said Denholm.

Denholm and McGuinness will work closely with Ulukaya and the rest of Chobani’s management council to increase the company’s category leadership, enhance efficiencies and "continue to foster an entrepreneurial, value-driven culture," Chobani said in a statement announcing the appointments.


Dairy Australia launches Legendairy ad campaign [video]

The dairy industry is moving away from promoting individual products and towards showcasing the industry as a whole in its latest communications initiative, Legendairy by Dairy Australia.

Set to launch nationally on 4 August, Dairy Australia's first major campaign in six years  will put the spotlight on Australia's dairy farmers, the quality of the foods they produce and their contribution to the Australian economy.

Legendairy will see see advertisements air across all mediums with extensive below the line support ranging from public relations to grassroots sponsorships and visibility in Australia's eight regional dairy communities as part of an initial three year strategy.

While recent experiences in the UK have indicated that generic advertising has a direct impact on dairy sales, Dairy Australia's group manager for industry promotion and product innovation, Isabel MacNeill, said the Legendairy campaign is about more than driving sales.

"It's all about giving the industry a well deserved boost," she said. "We want to tell the story of Australia's dairy industry and it doesn't stop at just milk.

"In the face of recent tough times, Australia's dairy farmers have continued to grow and care for their $4 billion dairy industry," said MacNeill.

"The Legendairy campaign will champion the dairy industry, sharing stories of innovation, provenance and personal triumph. We believe this focus will connect the farming community with its consumers."

The campaign initially delivers eight advertising executions across television, print, digital, radio and an exclusive sponsorship of the Melbourne Victory versus Liverpool FC match on 24 July.



Fonterra clears up milk price

Fonterra has corrected reports from yesterday regarding a price rise of its popular Riverina Fresh milk.

Reports circulated around the dairy industry claiming that the dairy giant had raised the price of the popular Riverina Fresh milk brand by 40 percent.

“Reports today of a 40 percent increase in the wholesale price of Riverina Fresh milk are not correct,” a spokesperson for Fonterra told the Weekly Times Now.

The spokesperson explained that there will be a small price rise in the wholesale price, but nothing to the extent of a 40 percent hike.

“We have announced a price rise for our wholesale customer in the range of five percent and this will be effective from 1 August 2013.

“This is the first price increase for Riverina Fresh milk in over two years.”


Struggling Victorian farmers to receive $30m in low interest loans

Struggling Victorian farmers will have access to a share of $30m in low interest loans from Friday.

The federal and Victorian governments approved the package which will allocate loans at a 4.5 percent concessional interest rate as opposed to commercial loans that attract rates up to 16 percent as reported by The Australian.

Federal Agriculture Minster Joel Fitzgibbon said that he was ‘determined’ to secure a total of $420m in low interest concessional loans to ensure that farmers can get back on their feet.

“That is my key focus and I’m determined to do it as quickly as possible..,. I recognise that some dairy farmers are facing pressures,” said Fitzgibbon.

 The assistance however does not appear likely to extend to struggling dairy and beef farmers between Colac and Koroit who have run out of grass to feed their herds.

Metropolitan consumers are being encouraged to donate to farmers in need through the Aussie Helpers Buy-a-Bale website, which has already raised $200,000 over the past four weeks for drought stricken farmers.

Victoria’s Southwest represents a major dairy production region and it has been reported that many cattle in the area have died from malnourishment. 


WA’s $650m dairy project could double the state’s industry

The WA government has created a blueprint for the purchase of dairy farms and building infrastructure which could see the size of the state’s dairy industry double.

The project which is reported to total $650m, is being created to take advantage of increasing demand for high quality dairy products in Asian markets, particularly China.

The blueprint was prepared by the Department of Agriculture and Food WA, and has been distributed to selected Australian companies and some of China’s largest dairy stakeholders as reported by The West.

Chinese Billionaire, Zong Quinghou visited WA last year as he was considering investing $200m in a milk processing plant for his Wahaha group.

Quinghou is said to be considering investment in the new project, however he questioned the ability of the State to produce milk at the scale which he requires.

Foreign investment by the Chinese businessman is a welcomed prospect for WA’s struggling dairy industry which saw one of the State’s largest milk producers placed into receivership recently.

The $1 milk pricing policy of supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths is also said to have placed immense strain on the industry.  


Murray Goulburn plans new $60m milk facility

Milk processor, Murray Goulburn, will invest $60m in a new milk processing facility in western Sydney.

The company bought a 5ha site, formerly a quarry site, in Erskine Park.

Devondale general operations manager, Keith Mentiplay, said work on the site would begin soon.

"There is just over one year to go before we are scheduled to begin production and we are well on track to becoming the nation's most efficient producer of daily pasteurised milk," he said.

Earlier this year Murray Goulburn announced it planned to build two new facilities, with work already underway at the new Victorian plant at Laverton.

In April the company hinted it would be enlisting new suppliers throughout Victoria and entering new supply region to help meet the requirements of a landmark deal with supermarket giant Coles.

The deal, said to be worth $2 billion, will see Murray Goulburn supply Coles with house-brand milk for 10 years.

The deal includes the NSW-based cooperative Norco. The two cooperatives will replace house brand-suppliers Parmalat and Lion in these states.


Bulla acquries Choc Top maker

Bulla Dairy Foods has acquired Rowena Foods, the maker of the iconic Choc Top ice cream.

The deal will see Bulla take over operations at the Dandenong South manufacturing plant from 1 July 2013, retaining 100 percent of the staff.

Bulla Dairy Foods general manager commercial, David Sloan, said the acquisition of Rowena Foods is a logical expansion for the company and of benefit to both parties.

"At Bulla, we take pride in crafting Australian made dairy products that give enjoyment to families everywhere, which parallels Rowena’s reputation for manufacturing the iconic Australian made Choc Top," he said.

"This acquisition enables Bulla to access the cinema channel for the first time, while using our extensive experience in the ice cream category to ignite growth."


Fonterra chooses Tetra Pak for new NZ UHT plant

Global dairy giant Fonterra has chosen to employ Tetra Pak processing and packaging equipment for its new NZ $100m UHT Greenfield plant in Waitoa, New Zealand.

The new plant, which will double Fonterra’s UHT production capacity, is reported to contain five new UHT lines which will produce a range of products including UHT white milk and UHT cream for the foodservice sector.

Fonterra’s managing director for New Zealand milk products, Gary Romano said that the decision to use Tetra Pak was driven by the companies stringent food safety standards.

“In choosing Tetra Pak we know we can count on the highest standard of food safety and quality. A long-standing partner of Fonterra, Tetra Pak offers both equipment and service that ensures we get our products to consumers safely and efficiently,” said Romano.

“Rising incomes across Asia mean that more and more families want milk in their daily diets. And high quality, nutritious milk from New Zealand is much sought after in countries across the region,” added Nils Björkman, Executive Vice President Commercial Operations for Tetra Pak.

“We have worked with Fonterra on long life milk for more than 30 years at Takanini. We are excited to continue to identify new opportunities and to deliver world-class integrated processing and packaging solutions to meet the growing need for safe, quality food products by consumers in this vibrant region,” said Björkman.

Fonterra plans to commence milk production by mid 2014.


US export subsidy program could impact on Aussie dairy industry

US farmer-funded dairy body, Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has announced a 50 percent increase in its export subsidy program and is said to be targeting the Australian and Japanese markets.

The funding from the CWT body is estimated to increase to a total of $60 m annually to subsidise export markets as reported by the Weekly Times Now.

Noel Campbell, chairman of the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) said the subsidies will create an uneven playing field.

"It is disappointing that American milk producers feel the need to subsidise their dairy product exports and will not compete on a level playing field,'' Campbell said.

"The CWT subsidies program is targeting key Australian markets in Asia, such as Japan, and under-cutting efficiently-produced Australian product in these markets.''

"Activity of this type only reinforces the need for Australia to sign key Free Trade Agreements such as those being negotiated with Japan, China and Korea to assist in ensuring a more level playing field."

CWT’s export subsidies program allegedly takes a levy drawn from approximately two thirds of total US milk production, which is then used to subsidise product entry into export markets.

According to the Australian Dairy Industry Council, CWT is not aligned with the US government which enables the body to ‘side-step’ existing World Trade Organisation rules and restrictions.

Dairy Australia and the Australian Dairy Industry Council are said to be investigating legal options in light of the announcement, and will be working with industry and government to ensure the protection of the Australian dairy industry.


Bega Cheese announces opening milk price

Bega Cheese announced an opening milk price of $5.62kg/milk solids yesterday, just days ahead of the new season.

However, the company stressed that the $5.62kg/milk solids amount is a weighted average, and the range of opening prices will lie between $5.40 – $5.90kg/ milk solids.

The average is said to be based on the division of net amount paid for milk received, by the total of milk solids produced as reported by Weekly Times Now.

Executive chairman of Bega Cheese, Barry Irvin said that the new season’s price is inclusive of 8 cents a kilogram butterfat and 20 cents a kilogram protein.

“This is the third year in a row that we have provided a new season incentive recognising the importance of cash flow on farm in terms of investing for the coming season,” Irvin wrote in a statement.

“The strong finish to pricing in the 2012/13 year and the significant increase in opening prices for the 2013/14 year are a reflection of both the improved international commodity market and exchange rate combined with strong business performance and long term business strategy.

“I have commented regularly that the milk price will always be driven by market returns for our products and the performance of our business.

“While market returns in the 2012/13 year were disappointing clearly our ability to lead in milk price the 2012/13 year is a reflection of our product mix and sound, long term business performance and strategy.”