NEW ZEALAND – Synlait Milk is establishing a research and development centre with an initial investment of US$7million, as part of its new drive towards product development, process technology and packaging.

The B2B manufacturer announced that it plans on entering the market for branded consumer products for the first time since it always had focused on counting milk marketer A2 Milk as a key customer.

The Rakaia-based milk processor, which is located at the university’s Palmerston North campus, houses the largest collection of pilot-scale food processing equipment in the southern hemisphere, while partnering with Massey University.

“Our goal is to become more profitable and diversified. Investing in our own research and development centre is an opportunity to explore new and unique ways to make the most from milk,” said Synlait Managing Director John Penno.

“We will be developing intellectual property across our value chain, which aims to maximize value at every step, beginning behind the farm gate all the way through to providing market access for our customers.”

Synlait will invest an initial $7 million this financial year to grow its research and category development capability and plans to double its investment over the next two years, according to the Managing Director.

“This is the first step for us as we progress towards new products, categories and markets in the future,” Penno said.

“We will need our capability in this area to continue evolving so we stay ahead of the game.”