Synlait to invest in Palmerston North research and development centre
By Tina Morrison
Sept. 25 (BusinessDesk) - Synlait Milk, the South Island-based milk processor, will establish a research and development centre in Palmerston North to drive new product development, process technology and packaging.
Rakaia-based Synlait is partnering with Massey University and FoodPilot, which is located at the university's Palmerston North campus and houses the largest collection of pilot-scale food processing equipment in the southern hemisphere. The business-to-business dairy products manufacturer, which counts milk marketer A2 Milk as a key customer, announced last week that it's looking to enter the market for branded consumer products for the first time.
"Our goal is to become more profitable and diversified. Investing in our own research and development centre is an opportunity to explore new and unique ways to make the most from milk,” said Synlait managing director John Penno. "We will be developing intellectual property across our value chain, which aims to maximize value at every step, beginning behind the farm gate all the way through to providing market access for our customers."
Synalit will invest an initial $7 million this financial year to grow its research and category development capability and plans to double its investment over the next two years, he said.
"This is the first step for us as we progress towards new products, categories and markets in the future," Penno said. "We will need our capability in this area to continue evolving so we stay ahead of the game."
The shares last traded at $5.45, and have gained 75 percent this year.