Fonterra’s newly completed mozzarella plant will create enough mozzarella cheese to top more than 300m pizzas a year, the co-operative says.

The company’s new plant will double the production of the cheese and it says that the cheese is destined for pizza and pasta restaurants across China, Asia and the Middle East.

Managing Director of Global Operations at Fonterra, Robert Spurway, says that the co-op has seen growth in consumer and foodservice categories and this expansion will form a key part of that success in the future.

“The expansion at Clandeboye is a great example of our V3 strategy in action,” Spurway says.

“Foodservice products such as cheese give a high value on return and, thanks to our strength in research and development, we’re able to cut months off the production time of this mozzarella to deliver on our velocity proposition. The additional capacity will bring volume to that equation,” he says.

Fonterra says that the expansion is part of the co-ops wider strategy to build on strength in foodservice, along with the doubling of cream cheese production at Te Rapa, the recent commissioning of the Waitoa UHT site and plans to expand slice-on-slice cheese capacity at Eltham.

Clandeboye Site Manager, Steve McKnight, says the site will begin 24 hour production immediatley, with farmers supplying winter milk to help meet global demand for individual quick frozen grated mozzarella.

“We’re seeing the popularity of cheese really take off in Asia, so the timing of this upgrade couldn’t be better. To meet orders from that market, we will be producing cheese 24 hours a day, making use of our new lines and taking winter milk from our farmers in Canterbury, Southland and Otago,” McKnight says.