Fonterra's new cream cheese plant in Canterbury will manufacture up to 24,000 metric tonnes of cream cheese annually, bound for China.

Fonterra's Head of Farm Source for Bay of Plenty Lisa Payne spoke to The Country Early Edition's Rowena Duncum about the Darfield plant and China's demand for New Zealand dairy products.

China's changing demographics have driven a surge in popularity for Western foods and the 20kg blocks of cream cheese from Darfield will meet growing demand for bakery goods, like cheese cakes and cheese tarts.

Listen below:

Fonterra farmers will start to receive farm dairy records in the mail next week says Payne. The records have been through "a couple of changes," and will include some extra questions that will focus on animal care.


Payne says Fonterra needs the data from farmers as it is "wrapped up in our Trusted Goodness Brand," which helps customers to recognise they will pay more for products from animals that have been well cared for.

Payne says it is valuable to Fonterra to be able to authentically back up animal welfare claims.

"We know our farmers already do it, it's just a matter of having the data in place."

Also in today's interview: Lisa Payne reminds Fonterra farmers to RSVP for the upcoming meeting with the board and management team and to be aware of the new Fat Evaluation Index grading system which comes into effect on September 1st.