The newly opened facility will, in the long term, allow more volumes to be handled and more milk to be purchased from farmers. The expansion has increased the facility’s chilled capacity by 47% and ambient capacity by 100%. The potential average volume throughput was boosted to almost 1,5 million litres per day.
Since 2010 Clover has invested around R171 million to reorganise the Queensburgh facility and expand its production and distribution capacity. This included the relocation of certain production facilities closer to the milk source.
The expansion forms part of the recently completed Project Cielo Blu, the primary capital expenditure programme following the company’s listing on the JSE Limited and successful capital raise of R500 million in December 2010.
Werner Büchner, chairperson of Clover, said that the additional products, new cold room and ambient warehouse added to the facility are already delivering benefits for Clover. “We will continue to invest in value-adding expenditure programmes over the long term as we aim to mitigate rising input and transportation costs.”
A new plant for Extended Shelf Life (ESL) milk was commissioned in the past year, which increased the shelf life of fresh milk to 18 days. Meanwhile, the new Ultra Pasteurised (UP milk) processing and aseptic filler enabled Clover to produce UP milk with an extended shelf life of 30 days.