Waikato dairy expansion

18:51, Nov 14 2012

Open Country Dairy has begun a $20 million-plus expansion of its Waharoa manufacturing plant in Waikato, taking on up to 30 more farmer suppliers and extending its export product range.

Chairman Laurie Margrain said the company was significantly expanding its skim milk powder and milk fats production capacity, upgrading its cheese plant and readying the plant to be more flexible and responsive to market demands.

Major construction will start in February and be completed for the start of the 2013-14 season in June.

The existing Waharoa plant employs 125 staff and has 306 farmer suppliers.

Margrain said the expansion would "not be much of a job creator" because of Open Country's systems, but 25 more farmers had been signed up for next season with more in line.

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