Fonterra shows how it’s done


By Dilanthi Jayamanne

New Zealand based dairy giant Fonterra currently employs 4,000 local dairy farmers to produce several of its milk based products for its Sri Lankan consumers.

Addressing the media, following a tour to explain how the local milk produce was used to turn out flavoured milk, yoghurt and curd, under the Anchor Newdale brand, in its manufacturing site in Biyagama, Director Operations Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka, Sriram Venkatasubramanian said that over 30,000 litres of milk was collected each day from the local dairy farming community.

Fonterra has established collecting centres in Kirivanthuduwa, Hanwella, Wilattawa, Dikoya and Thalawakele. The Company had also established its solar powered chilling centre in Hanwella to ensure the safety of the milk which it took for production.

Venkatasubramanian said Fonterra’s farmer development and educational programme provided their farmers with necessary knowledge to increase the harvest. Experts in the field were brought down to educate them on increasing the yield. They were advised on proper maintenance and feeding methods to be adopted.

Responding to a question however, the Operations Director said that although Fonterra did not provide their local dairy farmers with monitory assistance for purchasing cows, they were channeled to the right monitory establishment to get the required loan for purchasing.

Fonterra would increase its production capacity according to the consumer demand," Marketing Director Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka, Roshan de Silva said. The company remains reassured of its standing within the Sri Lankan community for over 16 years. Not only do children enjoy drinking milk or eating yoghurt, but adults themselves enjoy a spoon or two of milk with their tea each time they consume the beverage. This is opposed to what has been advised by health experts who stipulate that two glasses of milk per day was adequate for adults, he said.

People also depend on yoghurt as a source of nutrition. Fonterra would have to include more dairy farmers into its farming network. It would also have to increase the yield provided by the present dairy farming community though strengthening the quality of food provided to the animals, he said.

Anchor Newdale was first produced as stirred yoghurt. However there was a preference among people for set yoghurt. Anchor Newdale is now produced as set and stirred yoghurt. The yoghurt cups were filled in the Fonterra state of the art filling machines. De Silva stressed that under no circumstance was there contamination. It was hygienically produced and packed.

Meanwhile the Fonterra brands opened its doors to the public for a period of five days at the end of last week to facilitate knowledge on the process behind turning fresh milk into dairy products.

The Fonterra Anchor Newdale production facility in Biyagama is the largest in Sri Lanka and is certified under ISO 9001 and 22000 in food safety and quality management, De Silva added.

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