City milk fac­tory to lead tech­nol­ogy stan­dards

Gatton Star - - INTO RURAL LIFE -

CON­STRUC­TION on a lead­ing-edge milk fac­tory that will ex­port more than one mil­lion litres of milk to the big­gest econ­omy in the world through Well­camp Air­port is ex­pected to start next month.

Toowoomba Pre­mium Milk ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Steve Laracy said he was hope­ful de­vel­op­ment on stage one, worth $50 mil­lion, would start in mid-oc­to­ber.

The sprawl­ing fac­tory to be built 700m from the Well­camp Air­port run­way in the Wag­ner-owned Well­camp Busi­ness Park will ex­port in­fant for­mula with an im­me­di­ate fo­cus on China.

That would later ex­pand to the wider Asian re­gion and into the United Arab Emi­rates.

Mr Laracy said TPM’S lead­ing tech­nol­ogy would give it an edge in the ex­port mar­ket and en­able Asian cus­tomers to have faith in the qual­ity of the prod­uct.

“We’re in­cor­po­rat­ing lead­ing-edge tech­nol­ogy, par­tic­u­larly in the trace­abil­ity and food se­cu­rity, to get us in front of the curve,” he said.

“Par­tic­u­larly in Asia, there is a de­mand for the se­cu­rity of trace­abil­ity in know­ing they’re get­ting the real deal out of Aus­tralia.

“The (dairy) in­dus­try is catch­ing up but we’re go­ing to be the lead­ing edge.”

Works are ex­pected to be­gin on the am­bi­tious stage two be­fore the first stage is com­pleted, ex­port­ing fresh milk, drink­ing yo­ghurt and UHT di­rect to Chi­nese su­per­mar­kets.

Ini­tial ca­pac­ity will be about 300,000L a day, or 108 mil­lion litres a year, with pos­si­ble fu­ture ex­pan­sion.

In­creases in tech­nol­ogy have blown the stage two costs out to $180 mil­lion.

The third stage in­cludes a new dairy farm with up to 25,000 head of cat­tle on the Dar­ling Downs.

But with that form­ing the long-term am­bi­tion of the com­pany, Mr Laracy said re­gional farm­ers of qual­ity prod­uct would be tipped to sup­ply TPM to meet its cus­tomer de­mands.

Trade and In­vest­ment Queens­land has ear­marked TPM prod­ucts to be ex­ported by March 2019.

More than 5200 jobs are ex­pected to be cre­ated dur­ing con­struc­tion, with 150 di­rect jobs cre­ated once op­er­a­tional.


WIN­NING FOR­MULA: Con­cept plans for the Toowoomba Pre­mium Milk fac­tory ad­ja­cent to the Toowoomba Well­camp Air­port.

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