$65m expansion plans: Dairy jobs boost

SIXTY new jobs will be created under a $65 million expansion of an organic dairy processing plant in North Geelong.

The city is set to become the country’s organic dairy capital with two parallel projects set to create a state-of-the-art facility and generate $95 million in dairy exports.

Lara MP John Eren will today announce Organic Dairy Farmers Australia has received a $1.9 million Food Source Victoria grant towards a $10 million butter making and processing project which paves the way for construction of the country’s first dedicated organic nutritional dairy powder dryer.

The $55 million dryer, which is being built by Corio Bay Dairy Group, a separate company of which Organic Dairy Farmers Australia has a 50 per cent stake, provides a vital “spring solution” for the calving season’s spike in milk supply.

The skim from the milk supply will go to the dryer to make into infant milk powder while the fat, or the cream, will go to mostly butter and cheese making which Organic Dairy Farmers Australia markets under the brand “True Organic”.

A Dairy Farmer Cooperative owned and operated by its organic dairy farmer members, Organic Dairy Farmers Australia has been based in Geelong since 2014.

Chief Executive Stewart Price said at less than half a per cent of Australia’s milk production, organic milk was under-represented in the Australian market when compared to the rest of the world.

“There is a huge demand for organic butter, and huge demand for organic cream,” Mr Price said.
“We haven’t been able to capture or satisfy that demand because we couldn’t bring more milk on.
“The dryer has allowed us to recruit more members and farmers which, with more organic milk, is opening up more markets to us.”

Mr Price said 25 of the new jobs would come online before Christmas with work on the dryer to start early January.

To be built on a site adjoining the Organic Dairy Farmers Australia plant in Cowie St, the dryer will be owned by the Corio Bay Dairy Group, a joint venture with infant formula and milk powder supplier Wattle Health Australia Ltd and Niche Dairy Pty Ltd.