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Fonterra Produces Its First Organic Dairy Product

Fonterra Produces Its First Organic Dairy Product

Fonterra Co-operative Group has entered the organic market with the production of its first organically certified cheese and milk powders.

NZMP, Fonterra’s manufacturing and ingredients marketing division, produced two organic cheese types at its Hautapu site along with organic skim and wholemilk at its Waitoa site during September.

In July, Fonterra announced its intention to begin manufacture of organic dairy ingredients and advised that product would be available by September.

NZMP Organics Category Manager Rick Carmont says organic liquid milk is being collected daily from 13 organically-certified farms in the North Island.

Fonterra has identified a total of 66 farms that are certified organic or have indicated an interest to convert. Mr Carmont said farms are being assessed and added to the collection base each week.

“All products made by NZMP are processed and certified to the strict rules governing production and inspection of agricultural products as laid down in Regulation by the European Commission,” said Mr Carmont.

Certenz is providing the audit process under the New Zealand Food Safety Authority’s Technical Rules of Organic Production. The New Zealand standard for Organics is due out early next year.

Mr Carmont said all three certifying bodies, BIO-GRO, Certenz and Demeter have worked closely with NZMP and its farmer suppliers to ensure a seamless certification for its customers.

He said while the market remains relatively small, the outlook for Organics is positive with dairy ingredients commanding a significant price premium over standard products.

“Organic dairy foods will always require a premium due to the high cost of separation through the value chain.”

The global organic foods business is expected to exceed US$11 billion this year. New Zealand sales for all organic products are predicted at NZ$70 million and are growing fast.

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