4 Dec 2013

Synlait's formula sales picking up

1:32 pm on 4 December 2013

Canterbury dairy processor and exporter Synlait Milk reports sales of its infant formula products are picking up again after the Fonterra botulism scare that shook the market earlier in the year.

Synlait managing director Dr John Penno said there's no question demand from customers of Canterbury dairy processor and exporter slowed, but the contamination alert wasn't the only reason for that; also in the mix were regulatory and policy changes in the Chinese market.

"So those two things on top of each other weren't helpful in the first quarter but we're certainly seeing demand pick up again now and customers who perhaps had stood back while that played out are returning to the market and buying again," Dr Penno said.

Synlait Milk's expansion plans are on track to significantly increase infant formula production, he said.

The company told its annual shareholders meeting on Tuesday that it's continuing to increase the proportion of value added products in its business, including formula and nutritional products.

Dr Penno says the first of the new developments at its Dunsandal processing site, a lactoferin plant producing high value milk protein is due to come into production in February.

The second is another spray dryer due to be built in 8 months so it is ready for the 2015/2016 season, bringing total production for the site up to 140,000 tonnes per year.