Birthday party for factory

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Fonterra Australia managing director Rene Dedoncker sampled a 100th anniversary cup cake at Stanhope.

The dairy town of Stanhope has celebrated the 100th birthday of its milk processing factory.

The event attracted more than 300 people from around Victoria, many of whom had some connection with the factory’s history— first as an independent co-operative and later owned by Ibis and Bonlac.

Fonterra Australia managing director Rene Dedoncker chats with Gordon Emmett and supplier Leighton West on a factory tour at the Stanhope celebrations.

Its current owner, Fonterra, has invested heavily in the site, following a fire in 2014 that destroyed the cheesemaking plant.

The new cheesemaking plant, more than doubled in capacity, produces the Perfect Italiano Mozzarella, which is widely used on pizzas.

On June 26, Fonterra organised a community fun day to mark the anniversary (delayed by one year due to COVID-19) and arranged tours of the factory, across the road from Stanhope’s community hall.

In 2015 the town, on the Midland Highway between Shepparton and Bendigo, was named as Dairy Australia’s Legendairy community.

Lillian Hancock, 11, from Stanhope was introduced to a chihuahua at the animal petting experience at the Stanhope Fonterra factory celebrations.
The crowd hears the opening welcome at the Stanhope Fonterra factory celebrations in June.
Campaspe Shire Mayor Chrissy Weller, Federal Member for Nicholls Sam Birrell, Stanhope Fonterra factory manager Steve Taylor and Fonterra Australia managing director Rene Dedoncker prepare the contents for a time capsule to be buried at the Stanhope factory.
Cheese technologist David Mellor was kept busy supplying the tasting table at the Stanhope Fonterra factory’s 100th anniversary celebrations.