The facility was designed for the development of dairy ingredients such as whole milk powder for the dessert, bakery, beverage and confectionery categories.
Work took two years to complete and was completed in August 2023, while it prompted the firm to expand its team in New Zealand from two employees to 60.
Based Tokoroa, Waikato, ofi hopes that new plant will enable the firm to address the innovation, traceability and sustainable sourcing requirements of its customers. The business plans to continue investing in the plant so that it can expanding its offering and create new high value dairy ingredients.
ofi said that is also looking at ways to grow the value of its milk and deliver better returns to its partner farmers, while producing ingredients in a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable manner.
Operating on a global scale, ofi’s portfolio of ingredients includes cocoa, coffee, nuts and spices. It has three locations in the UK, including an office in London, a cocoa processing plant in Goole and a logistics hub in Ipswich.
New Zealand plant ‘part of a global network’
Sandeep Jain, managing director and CEO for dairy at ofi, said that the Tokoroa plant will supply markets across South-East Asia, China, the Middle East and Africa.
“The new plant also complements a suite of enhancements made to ofi’s dairy production facility and Ingredient Excellence Centre (IEC) in Johor, Malaysia back in September – which combined with our Customer Solutions Center based in Singapore, enables us to co-create bespoke food and beverage solutions for our customers,” added Jain.
“Our dairy business is well positioned to serve increased demand from our global customer base and co-create innovative applications at scale – driving additional focus on the value-added capabilities within our portfolio.”
Meanwhile, ofi senior vice president for dairy Naval Sabri described the local response as “enthusiastic” and credited the reputation the brand has built as a “leading dairy ingredients provider and innovator”.
He continued: “The dairy ingredients we’re now producing are nutritious and highly versatile with a desirable texture and flavor. They can be used in many applications from ice cream and yogurts, bakery goods and confectionery items, through to coffee, tea and cocoa beverages.”