Stanhope factory is ‘pivotal’

author avatar
Florence Coote, 4, and Millie Cox, 5, added some colour to the Stanhope celebrations by painting a fibreglass cow in the Stanhope Community Hall. The girls are granddaughters of former factory employee Ian Coote.
Children attending the celebrations in the Stanhope Community Hall made a willing contribution to some mooving art.

Fonterra’s most senior company representative in Australia joined in the birthday celebrations for Stanhope’s 100-year-old dairy factory.

The party, on June 26, brought together hundreds of people from the district, including farmers and ex-employees.

In the crowd was Fonterra’s Australian managing director Rene Dedoncker, who described it as a celebration of community.

“We’ve had immense support through the toughest of times,” Mr Dedoncker said.

Some old hands at the Stanhope celebration were (from left) former cheesemaker Harry Janse, former mechanic George Gemmill and former driver and transport manager Jim Burrows.

“The reality is when you have a strong community, great staff, good craftsmanship and more farmers partnering with you, you can create some of the best cheeses in the world. Whether it is cheddar, mozzarella, pecorino, Romano, parmesan — they are all here at Stanhope.”

He said the Stanhope factory was integral to Fonterra’s Australian operations.

Two generations of fire brigade supporters with a third prospective member (from left) Robyn Butterworth, her daughter Second Lieutenant Belinda Braithwaite and Alyssa Braithwaite, 11.

“Without Stanhope our business doesn’t run. Stanhope is pivotal.

“The fact that we can produce up to 80,000 tonnes of cheese here and serve both the domestic and international market. It’s intrinsic to what we do.

Father and daughters (from left) Jenny Coburn from Mooroopna, factory veteran Jim Burrows, Debbie Allen from Garfield and Viki Schade from Stanhope at the Stanhope Fonterra factory celebrations.

“And it’s not just the cheese, we take the whey, for example, and make sports drinks and powders with our partners.

“Stanhope is one of the most critical parts of our production ecosystem.”

The band, Des and the Deserters, played at the factory’s 100th birthday celebrations.
Fonterra managing director Rene Dedoncker chats with Gordon Emmett and supplier Leighton West on a factory tour at the Stanhope Fonterra celebrations.