• From left: Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, and Jan Anker of Royal A-ware Food Group.
    From left: Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, and Jan Anker of Royal A-ware Food Group.
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Fonterra has officially opened a new 25-hectare plant at Heerenveen in the Netherlands with an event that was attended by His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.

He spoke with employees about the partnership between Fonterra and Dutch cheese manufacturer Royal A-ware.

The site will give Fonterra continual access to whey and lactose which will be used in manufacturing paediatric, maternal and sports nutrition products.

Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings said the site was part of the company's long-term strategy for building global milk pools.

“Our strategy is a good fit with A-ware’s long-term vision, so it’s a win-win for both companies,” he said.

“We have substantial intellectual property in manufacturing functional whey protein ingredients, and having a high-quality, high-volume source based in Europe will allow us to commercialise these innovations for our customers globally.”

There are two plants in Heerenveen, side by side. A-ware’s plant produces cheese for its customers in Europe, while Fonterra’s plant processes the whey and lactose from A-ware’s plant, as by-products of the cheese-making process. This is Fonterra’s first wholly owned and operated ingredients plant in Europe, processing one billion litres of milk each year and producing 5000 metric tonnes of whey protein and 25,000 metric tonnes of lactose annually.

The partnership increases Fonterra’s ability to access a globally traded whey protein and lactose market that was worth more than NZ$2.7 billion in 2014.

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