The Darfield plant employs 280 people and processes 7.2 million litres of milk every day

Fonterra Darfield open day

by Mike Isle

The public is going to get its chance to have a rare inside look at Fonterra’s giant milk processing plant in Darfield next Saturday, when the plant opens its gates for a series of guided tours through the facility.

Included in the tours, will be the brand new cream cheese plant, which Fonterra describes ‘as the jewel in its crown and state-of-the-art’.

The public may even get the chance to sample some of the 24,000 metric tonnes of cream cheese the plant produces annually.

Fonterra Darfield’s operations manager, Harriet Van Genne-Knape, said Fonterra was proud to share with the public the products they make at Darfield and distribute to more than 40 markets world-wide.

“Our products are valued across the world, and to be able to produce them at such an efficient and sustainable site is gratifying. Sustainability is a real focus on-site, and we’re proud to be on track to saving around 100 tanker loads of water a day thanks to a new reverse osmosis plant,” she said.

“If you want to see the world’s biggest milk powder dryer and Darfield’s newest addition, the cream cheese plant, come along! That is an open invitation for our local community to see how proud we are of what we do, learn more about the dairy production process and have some fun at the same time.”

Fonterra’s Darfield plant processes 7.2 million litres of milk a day, employs 280 people, and is home to the world’s joint-largest milk dryer. It also includes a 13-acre distribution centre — the size of seven rugby fields.

Harriet Van Genne-Knape said the tours would start at 10am and last approximately 60 minutes. The final tour of the day would depart at 2pm.

Each tour must be pre-booked. Booking applications and health and safety conditions you need to know are on Fonterra’s website opengates.co.nz.

Children under five are not permitted and children 5 to 15 must be accompanied by at least one adult for every two children.