In the picture: Palmerston North Mayor, Grant Smith, cutting the ribbon to open Synlait Palmerston North. Massey University Vice Chancellor, Prof Jan Thomas, stands to his right and Roger Schwarzenbach, Synlait’s GM of Technical and Innovation, is opposite.
“We’re very excited to be opening Synlait Palmerston North, which is home to our new Research and Development Centre,” says John Penno, Managing Director and CEO.
“We have some major opportunities in front of us. With the strong team and partnerships we’ve got in place to lead liquid innovation within our business, we won’t miss a beat,” he says.
The Vice Chancellor of Massey University, Professor Jan Thomas, opened the facility and highlighted the important new relationship between Synlait and the university.
“The establishment of Synlait’s new Research and Development Centre at Massey’s Manawatū campus is an excellent example of industry and the university collaborating closely to achieve real, tangible outcomes,” says Professor Thomas.
“Strategic partnerships like these are vital if we are to start and grow new industries, create new jobs, and to remain competitive in the global marketplace. Massey University is New Zealand’s premier provider of food research and education, and at the forefront of pioneering such partnerships with the food industry.” she says.
Synlait Palmerston North is a partnership with Massey University and FoodPilot, one of the New Zealand Food Innovation Network’s four hubs.
The Palmerston North team will primarily concentrate on innovative dairy liquid product development, as well as supporting processes and technology.
They will also play an important role in developing innovative export-orientated cream opportunities that leverage Synlait’s upcoming $125 million advanced liquid dairy packaging facility at Synlait Dunsandel.
Synlait plans to double their investment over the next two years, having committed around $7 million to research and category development in the current financial year.
They will be investing around $2 million on additional equipment for the FoodPilot facility, which can be used by others.
Synlait currently has around 35 staff members working within the Research and Development Team, but this will continue to grow as Synlait Palmerston North ramps-up its operations.