A state government grant will help Midfield Meat International build a $60 million facility to produce whole milk powder, skim milk powder, and cream.
South Australian minister for regional development Geoff Brock announced the funding on Tuesday.
The $2 million being contributed by the state is coming from its Regional Development Fund.
The facility, based at the former Safries site in Penola, is expected to create 34 ongoing full time jobs, as well as 80 jobs during the construction period.
“This project will provide a timely economic boost for the dairy industry in the state’s south east,” Brock said.
“Growing demand from the Chinese market and other new and established markets for milk powder makes this an opportune investment, establishing the region as a key supplier to global markets.
“This new facility will further enhance the Limestone Coast’s agricultural food production, its reputation for premium food and wine and its global competitiveness.”
Agricultural minister Leon Bignell was also positive.
“I was born and bred on a dairy farm in the south east and I know just how tough the industry can be,” he said. “Dairy farmers across the state are going through a really hard time and as a government we will do everything we can to help.”
Midfield Meat International’s director of dairy operations Daniel Aarons thanked the state government for its support, saying the project positioned Midfield as a significant global supplier in the production, development and marketing of selected products and ingredients for the milk powder industry.
“The milk processing facility will diversify the region’s dairy industry, bringing valuable economic benefits to the region,” he said.
“Midfield already has established relationships with many farmers in the Limestone Coast, so expanding our operations in the region is an obvious step for us.”