Warrnambool’s Midfield Group is joining with a global food giant in a move that could change the face of the nation’s dairy industry.
Midfield announced on Thursday afternoon it had entered into a joint venture with the Louis Dreyfus Company Dairy Asia (LDC) for the construction, development and management of its dairy processing plant at Penola, South Australia.
The new plant, currently under construction, is due to begin operating in July next year.
When completed, it’s expected to have an annual processing capacity of 220-million litres of raw milk, producing dairy powders and fats for the domestic and international markets.
The joint venture brings another major player onto the Australian dairy scene in a positive sign for the embattled industry.
Midfield Group managing director and owner Colin McKenna said the joint venture combined Midfield’s expertise in dairyfarming and processing with LDC’s global reach.
“Our new dairy processing company is expected to become knowledgeable of global dairy markets and their respective marketing environments very quickly,” he said.
“The joint venture partnership will therefore provide us with market intelligence and an immediate competitive presence in global markets, enabling us to add significant value and advantage to our Australian raw milk producers, our dairy farmers.”
LDC head of dairy platform Jean-Marc Foucher said the partnership was key to growing the company into the Oceania and Asian regions.
“The continuous demand for quality products, the recognition of Australian milk and dairy products around the globe, as well as efficient farming and processing operations provide a very positive outlook for all participants, from farmer to processor and exporter,” he said.
“The Penola plant will produce top quality products and allow for expansion, as we are confident that a processing facility in South Australia will build the region’s dairying capacity. This will help us to serve our global clients more efficiently while enhancing Australia’s agricultural sector as a whole.”