Westland Milk - UHT Cream

FOODSOUTH

Westland Milk Products is the trading name of Westland Co-operative Dairy Company Limited. Westland is an independent co-operative dairy company in New Zealand, owned by over 425 farmer shareholders that supply milk for processing. Milk is sourced from farms as far north as Karamea and as far south as Haast on the West Coast and from farms throughout Canterbury. Their major processing factory is located in the town of Hokitika on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, with their main warehouse and milk concentration plant near the small town of Rolleston outside Christchurch.

In early 2014 Westland engaged The FoodBowl to undertake the development of UHT processed milk and cream products. They saw benefit in undertaking the project through The FoodBowl as clients maintain 100% of their intellectual property and each project is kept confidential without the express consent of the client.

“It was an easy choice for us, The FoodBowl had everything we needed to assess our product’s viability” remarked Shaojiang Chen – Westland Milk Products Scientific Manager.

The FoodBowl’s UHT line is equipped to run up to 200ltrs an hour and has multiple time/temperature combinations to apply to traditional and functional dairy products. It is perfect for the likes of Westland as it can replicate how a larger scale plant works and treats the milk but is also cost effective since the minimum volume required is only 50ltrs – the perfect stepping stone. The Food Innovation Network has a smaller benchtop unit at The FoodPilot but in Westlands case, The FoodBowl’s scale was ideal.

Westland now plans to expand into the UHT milk market by investing in a $40m plant of their own – this will be their first ever retail milk product and is largely aimed at China. “This is a high value product with excellent prospects for Westland,” Chief Executive Rod Quin says. “Comparatively little of China’s milk is delivered fresh through refrigerated outlets as it is in New Zealand. Rather, most milk is consumed as a UHT product that does not need refrigeration, and we see that market continuing to expand.”