New Zealand-based dairy company Synlait has processed the first milk received at its latest nutritional powder manufacturing facility in Pokeno, Waikato.

The facility has been designed to produce a complete range of nutritional, formulated powders, which includes including infant-grade skim milk and whole milk, as well as infant formula base powders.

Synlait CEO Leon Clement said: “Pokeno is a highly sophisticated facility being run by an engaged and highly capable team, backed by some of the Waikato’s best dairy farmers. This first milk run is a significant milestone for our team who are putting Synlait’s newest nutritional spray dryer through its paces.”

“Our team bring skills from a variety of backgrounds and industries, including engineering, food technology, dairy and infant formula. Forty-five per cent of our manufacturing team lives within 15 kilometres of the Synlait facility.”

Initially, the facility will be engaged in the production of infant-grade ingredients. It obtained regulatory registration for production of infant formula base powder.

Synlait adds that the nutritional spray dryer at Pokeno’s facility can manufacture 45,000mt of product.

Clement added: “Our expansion into the Waikato is in direct response to increased customer demand and diversifies risk away from our single site at Dunsandel, Canterbury. We look forward to working with our staff, milk suppliers, the local community and industry in the region.”

Going further, the dairy processing company intends to hire more employees at its facility to produce infant formula.

Last February, Synlait announced plans to build its second nutritional powder manufacturing unit in Pokeno, North Waikato.

For its unit, the dairy firm conditionally purchased 28ha of land in New Zealand’s North Island.