Pilot trades planes for cream cheese as demand for dairy surges – eDairyNews
New Zealand |20 diciembre, 2020

Dairy | Pilot trades planes for cream cheese as demand for dairy surges

Former Air New Zealand pilot Liam Fitzgerald is one of five new employees at Fonterra’s cream cheese plant in Darfield, who have been hired to help meet surging demand from China.

The plant had more than doubled production of the dairy product in the last year, plant manager Blake Aston said.

Fitzgerald was put on furlough by Air New Zealand after Covid-19 severely disrupted international travel but said he was enjoying the break from flying.

He had worked for Fonterra before he became a pilot, in a whey production plant, and decided he wanted to go back.

Fitzgerald initially began doing temporary work in one of the two milk powder plants at the Darfield site, but when production at the cream cheese plant increased he applied for a permanent role.

The plant at Darfield is now operating around the clock to meet the demand, having added 75 per cent more capacity.

Plant manager Blake Aston said demand had grown by more than 100 per cent in the last year and five new permanent employees were needed to work the new shifts.

China’s changing demographics were driving the popularity of Western foods including huge demand for cream cheese which was used in items like lollipops, drinks and moon cakes, Aston said.

Darfield produced 90 tonnes of cream cheese every day, which was packed into 20 kilogram boxes for export.

There was an existing cream cheese factory in Hamilton, but Darfield had been established in 2012 to service the growing Asian market and it employed more than 280 people, he said.

Most of what the plant produced went to China but also went to other markets in Asia, the Middle East and US.

«The Chinese really enjoy the taste of the cream cheese and they are putting it in a number of applications now. Machiato beverages and even sports drinks and beers.”

A new German blender allowed the plant to change the firmness and consistency of the cheese to meet customer preference and give its products a competitive advantage, he said.

The plant work was technical and staff were expected to be able to run every piece of equipment, Aston said.

Fitzgerald had just completed his forklift training for use in the pack house. Most of the training was done on the job.

He had only been there for three months but said there room for his career to grow.

«If the opportunity comes up I’d love to learn the other roles. I love flying but at the moment I have got a young family and this role works quite well. I see my family every day,” he said.

Legal notice on Intellectual Property in digital content

All information contained in these pages that is NOT the property of eDairy News and is NOT considered "in the public domain" by legal regulations, are trademarks of their respective owners and recognized by our company as such. The publication on the eDairy News website is made for the purpose of gathering information, respecting the norms contained in the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works; in Law 11.723 and other applicable norms.

Any claim arising from the information contained on the eDairy News website will be submitted to the jurisdiction of the Ordinary Courts of the First Judicial District of the Province of Córdoba, Argentine Republic, with a seat in the City of Córdoba, to the exclusion of any another jurisdiction, including the Federal.

Deja una respuesta

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *

Related news