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Westland Milk Products Processes More Milk Despite Drought

Westland Milk Products Processes More Milk Despite Drought

Westland Milk Products finished the 2012/13 season with a 5.3% increase in milk processed compared with the previous season, in spite of the impact of the drought on West Coast dairying.

This compares with a 2% drop in the total New Zealand milk production for 2012/13.

CEO Rod Quin says Westland, New Zealand’s second biggest dairy cooperative, processed nearly 670 million litres of milk, most of which is processed into various powder-based products for export.

“The production figure is a credit to the resilience of our shareholder/suppliers in what has been a tough season for many, and to staff who have initiated changes at the Hokitika factory to allow milk processing all year round without the traditional shut-down period.”

Despite the West Coast being severely impacted by a drought this season, Quin says Coast suppliers held their own, keeping production to much the same levels as last year. Westland also benefited from the production of its Canterbury shareholders who had the advantage of irrigated properties.

Quin says that the major changes within the company to allow for year-round production, plus the first ever offer to shareholders of the option to milk through the traditional dry season, have brought about a new era in Westland’s production processes. It puts the company on a solid footing to meet the increasing demand for its products, especially its new range of high-end nutritionals destined mainly for China.

“This year we have four farms supplying milk right through the traditional off-season,” Quin says. “Feedback from these suppliers has been positive, and the benefits to the cooperative are flowing through as expected. Plans are underway for this opportunity to continue in future seasons when we expect the take up of milking-through will be higher.”


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