Segregation plant an exciting development for NZ

Segregation plant an exciting development for NZ
Westland Milk Products’ new $22 million segregation plant - ‘a New Zealand first’ in the field of speciality milk processing.

Westland Milk Products describes its new $22 million segregation plant as ‘a New Zealand first’ in the field of speciality milk processing.
With the commissioning of the plant set for this month, it marks an exciting new chapter for the company and its new owners, Jingang Trade Holding Co. Limited.
Designed for processing multiple ‘made-to-order’ milk types, the segregation plant represents a breakthrough in specialty milk processing.
The special qualities of various milk types can now be retained from tanker delivery through to the end product.
New Zealand Resident Director Shiqing Jian says segregated production of speciality milks is a key component of Westland’s five-year strategy.
“There is growing global opportunity in catering to niche demands for food products with specific qualities that consumers are prepared to pay a premium price for,” he says.
“For dairy products, this might be A2, organic, grass-fed, or even single-source milk such as the very rich milk available from pure Jersey herds.”
Rapidly growing demand for A2 products and also products that highlight ‘grass-fed’ are just two examples of the many opportunities Westland can now take advantage of through the segregation plant.
“With the West Coast’s lush grass pastures and mild winters – meaning many farmers don’t need imported feed supplements – ‘grass-fed’ is a readily available special quality milk we can tap into. Most of our farmer suppliers already meet grass-fed standards.”
Early special quality milks through the plant will include milk from A2 herds and Westland’s Ten Star Premium Standard (10SPS) milk.
The latter is a joint venture between Westland and its biggest supplier, Southern Pastures.

Segregation plant an exciting development for NZ
Big job: the silos being installed at Westland Milk’s new segregation plant.

Produced on farms run to a set of very high measures spanning animal welfare, human rights and environmental requirements, contributing farmers must also operate in line with feed standards that ensure a pasture-fed regime and no use of palm kernel extract.
Quality, safety and traceability also feed into the creation of this premium milk.
Alongside 10SPS milk, the plant’s A2 capability is coming on stream at the right time to meet strong market demand.
Various advantages have been claimed for A2 milk, which contains the A2 type of casein protein.
For example, New Zealand research recently found that A2 Milk was at least as effective as lactose-free milk at preventing or easing some of the symptoms of lactose intolerance.
A fast growing market exists for A2 milk, both domestically and internationally.
The new segregation plant has created eight additional jobs in Hokitika.
Westland’s new owners, Jingang Trade Holding Co. Limited – a wholly owned subsidiary of Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group – see the segregation plant as part of its commitment to investment in Westland and to ensuring that West Coast dairying remains a viable and sustainable contributor to the region for generations to come.
Undoubtedly, this will be a shot in the arm for Westland Milk Products and, by extension, the West Coast dairy community.
In recent years, it has been challenging for Westland to compete in the bulk dairy commodities arena, but low volume, segregated high value products will likely prove far less susceptible to the vagaries of the global dairy market.
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