Danone’s $25 million upgrade of its blending and milk processing plant in Auckland is further evidence of how vital New Zealand is in its regional operation, says Katherine Rich.

The multi-national company has officially opened its Early Life Nutrition plant, and Mrs Rich congratulated its New Zealand team on the achievement and thanked them for their continued commitment to New Zealand.

The upgrade doubles the company’s production capacity. It operates 22 production infant formula sites around the world, with New Zealand processing plants producing base powder to other Danone plants in Asia Pacific and international products to the domestic and Asia Pacific markets.

Danone distributes its Karicare and Aptamil brands in New Zealand.

“This is huge vote of confidence in New Zealand by one of the world’s top food companies, particularly as its looks to grow demand in other markets,” says Mrs Rich.

“Not only will New Zealand benefit from the 150 new jobs that result from the upgrade, our dairy industry will benefit from the fact that Danone has been granted approval by the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China to manufacture and export directly to China from the Auckland plant.

“That’s further recognition of Danone’s dedication to food safety and quality, and will add further to New Zealand’s reputation as a producer of the very best quality food products.”