Fonterra's new milk processing plant at Darfield in Canterbury has shipped out its first consignment of milk powder.
Thirty-seven containers carrying 940 tonnes of whole milk powder left the plant this week bound for China, where it will be used in dairy beverages.
Canterbury operations manager Richard Gray says the site has gone from a bare paddock about 18 months ago to being able to process more than two million litres of milk a day when it hits its peak next month.
So far, Darfield has produced more than 6,000 tonnes of whole milk powder.
Fonterra has plans to add a second, larger milk drier, which will triple the site's capacity.