Westpro is cementing its place as a world leader in the production of high value bioactive ingredients with its new $70 million specialised plant to be built at Westland Milk Products Hokitika facility.

Building will start next year on the new lactoferrin plant which will treble the company’s capacity to produce lactoferrin, the minor protein found in milk, which is fast gaining global recognition for its reported health benefits. 

For the last five years the global demand for lactoferrin, has far outstripped Westland’s product capacity – a trend which is expected to continue. 

With the addition of spray-dried lactoferrin to complement Westland’s freeze-dried lactoferrin range, Westland will be one of the only lactoferrin manufacturers in the world capable of producing both formats on the one site, a unique advantage for its customers.

The new lactoferrin plant can also manufacture other high-value bioactive products – a major plus for Westpro as it continues to develop its nutritious and versatile product range to meet the evolving needs of the global ingredients industry. 

Westpro is an integral part of the Westland Milk Products’ family. Its nutritious and versatile product range  includes proteins, such as  lactoferrin, milk powders, and other bioactive ingredients.

Consumers like that the company’s healthy, natural products are sourced from dairy cows grazing on the lush green pastures of its West Coast home, recognised as one of the world’s best dairy farming environments. 

The new plant is the latest in Westland’s series of major investments on the West Coast and is supported by its parent company the Yili Group, the fifth largest dairy company in the world. The development follows a $40 million plant upgrade in 2021 which doubled consumer butter production at Hokitika. 

In announcing the new plant in April this year, Westland’s Resident Director Zhiqiang  Li said the investment in the new lactoferrin plant signals Westland’s commitment to take the lead in the high value bioactive ingredients sector. 

“Westland is the only New Zealand commercial manufacturer of bovine colostrum powder and this move will place us in the top three leading global companies in the lactoferrin category, with a market share of approximately 10 per cent,” Mr Li says. 

“We were one of the first to market with this highly specialised protein ingredient, and over the past 20 years have established a reputation as a manufacturer of a product of exceptional quality.”

Westland CEO Richard Wyeth says the investment extends Westland’s focus on high-value consumer goods and specialised ingredients to leverage Westland’s growing international reputation as a producer of premium dairy products and ingredients. 

“We cannot improve on the incredible quality of the natural product our farmers produce day after day, but we can ensure that we extract maximum value for that product, and our lactoferrin strategy is a critical part of that,’’ Mr Wyeth said. 

“Our bioactive ingredients innovation pipeline is well advanced, and we’re excited to be a step closer to bringing these concepts to commercialisation.’’ 

Construction of the new plant is scheduled to start in the first half of 2024 and is expected to take 16 months.