HOKITIKA, New Zealand, July 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — On July 19, Yili Group officially opened its new butter plant at Westland Milk Products in Hokitika, West Coast, New Zealand. The opening coincided with celebrations to mark the third anniversary of Westland joining the Yili Group.
With the upgrade now complete, Westland Milk Products’ new butter plant has doubled the capacity of its consumer and foodservice butter facility at Westland’s Hokitika factory to reach up to 42,000 tonnes a year, making it the largest butter plant on the west coast of New Zealand.
New Zealand Trade and Agriculture Minister, the Hon. Damien O’Connor, was invited to the event, where he commemorated the investment that the butter plant represents for the future of the dairy industry on the West Coast.
In a pre-recorded speech at the event at Hokitika, Pan Gang, Chairman and President of Yili Group, said “Since joining Yili Group, Westland has gained increasing consumer recognition. Westland is dedicated to continuing creating more value for consumers, society and employees in the future.”
Yili Project Goldrush, an investment plan, was launched last year to upgrade the production system and increase its capacity. The project aims to give more global consumers a taste for Westgold, one of New Zealand’s most highly awarded butter brands.
Addressing the opening, Westland CEO Richard Wyeth said, “The original butter plant built in 1973 has now made way for a purpose-built facility that allows us to double our capacity of small-format butter pats with modern, state-of-the-art machinery that still holds true to our traditional churn methods.” Mr. Wyeth also expressed his appreciation for the collaborative efforts of employees, suppliers, and partners. The first half of 2022 saw the company’s strongest first-half-year result in the past seven years. Westgold butters are available in over 20 countries worldwide, including New Zealand, China, Australia, the United States and Japan.
As one of the world’s top five dairy companies and Asia’s largest player in the industry, Yili commits to building a mutually beneficial global network of resources, innovation, and markets. Yili currently has 15 R&D and innovation centers and 74 production bases. To achieve the company’s dream of “World Integrally Sharing Health”, Yili has kept evolving to meet the nutritional needs of various groups of people across the world.