Murray Goulburn Co-operative Co Limited (MG) has made a significant equity investment in Tasmanian Dairy Products Co Ltd (TDP) to facilitate the construction of a multi-million dollar milk processing facility at Smithton.
At meetings of local farmers and stakeholders this week, TDP chief executive officer Gregg Pollack said that the finalisation of MG as the key investor meant that construction works at the Gunns Ltd site at Smithton would begin soon with completion time of approximately 12 months.
Mr Pollack said MG was a great Australian dairy company - 100 per cent farmer-owned – with milk supply and processing sites across south eastern Australia.
“Given TDP plans to adopt elements of a cooperative structure and service model for local farmer-suppliers, the arrangement with MG provides the perfect cultural alignment for both companies,” he said.
“MG investment in TDP is vital for the long-term success of the Tasmanian dairy industry.
“Not only does it provide the backing of a large Australian icon, but it also gives Tasmanian dairy farmers the confidence they need to invest in growing their milk production.”
MG chairman Grant Davies said that since the very successful entry into Tasmania via the Classic Foods (Edith Creek) business in 2007, Murray Goulburn Co-Operative had been investigating the potential to expand its business in the state.
Mr Davies said that Tasmanian dairy farmers have consistently expressed their desire for MG to increase its presence in the state.
“We are confident that local dairy farmers will be very supportive of our role in the new venture,” he said.
“This is a very significant project for future jobs growth in Tasmania and we have commenced our discussions with State and Federal Government about supporting some of the key community-based benefits of the venture.”
Circular Head Mayor Daryl Quilliam said that the development has strong community support and the plant will benefit from ample skilled and semi-skilled labour for recruitment ultimately creating up to 75 permanent jobs in the area.
“The proposed Smithton facility would be located close to large volumes of quality milk and is close to port facilities for export of product,” Mr Quilliam said.
TDP and MG anticipate exporting much of TDP’s dried milk products to key overseas markets where the outlook for demand for dairy products is strong.
TDP was advised by KPMG Corporate Finance (Aust) Pty Ltd in Melbourne.
Released by: Nicolas Turner Tel: 6210 5206 or 0418 538 865
About Tasmanian Dairy Products Co Ltd and Murray Goulburn Co-operative Co Limited
TDP’s multi-million dollar Smithton development will employ an estimated 75 people when operational, and 150 people during construction.
When operational, TDP will process raw milk purchased from local farmers to produce a range of high quality dried milk products for export to overseas markets in Asia and the Middle East.
Established in 1950, MG is Australia’s 100 per cent farmer-owned dairy company. MG is Australia’s largest exporter of dairy foods and its flagship Devondale brand is sold nationally and is a market leader in key categories.