STRONG industry interest in the development of a new milk processing plant on the outskirts of Camperdown could see operations expanded, it was revealed this week.
An initiative of the Australian Dairy Farmers Group (ADFG), which wholly owns the Camperdown Dairy Company, the planned new factory has been earmarked for a 10 acre site on Old-Geelong Road.
ADFG chairman Peter Skene said the company was in discussions with several “high potential” joint venture partners with agreements likely to be signed in the near future.
“We’re really buoyed by the level of interest in the project,” he said.
“Discussions being held with potential joint venture partners are developing into greater opportunities than we initially envisaged.
“Since announcing our basic plans back in July, we’ve approached a number of companies and have had quite a few companies contact us with joint venture propositions.
“We’re now in very advanced discussions with a number of companies and are confident that agreements will be signed soon.”
Mr Skene said while it may look like little was progressing with regard to the project, a lot was going on behind the scenes.
“We are deliberately taking our time to ensure we build something that is a sustainable serious investment into the long-term,” he said.
“If you rush in, you could end up with something that crumbles. We’d rather spend extra time to make sure the foundation is rock-solid.”
Tipped to cost $50 million, the purpose-built factory will include specialised milk drying facilities, increased yoghurt production and have a strong focus on organic products.
“We see 2018 as the year where we will be signing joint venture agreements, firming up building arrangements and planning permits and signing contracts,” Mr Skene said.
“It is our hope to see the commencement of building on the site this year.
“We’re very confident that we’re moving in the right direction.”