Donations reach $1m
Affco donations to rural primary schools and fire brigades from the meat company's bobby calf scheme reached $1 million last year.
The firm's donations to schools started in 2006 and in response to supplier feedback rural fire brigades became a donation recipient in in 2013. Each season suppliers fill out a registration form and on it they nominate their school or fire brigade.
Affco donates 40c for every calf supplied to the nominated recipient which is a donation and doesn't come out of the schedule payment.
In December schools receive a payment from Affco - $75,000 last year - with a statement of who supplied the calves. The New Zealand Fire Service is given a donation - $28,000 last year - and distributes payments. Farmers receive registrations by mail, or can download from www.affco.co.nz/bobbycalves, phone 0800 722 422 or contact their Affco/SPM buyer. Registrations are due on May 1 in the North Island and June 1 in the South Island.
The opening of Yili Group's stage two development at its Oceania Dairy production plant at Glenavy in South Canterbury on Saturday takes the Chinese firm's investment in the site to more than $600 million.
Oceania Dairy includes a new Ultra High Temperature plant, infant formula canning line, blending facilities, a whole milk powder dryer, and facilities to manufacture lactoferrin. There are 67 farmers supplying milk to the plant and Yili is developing a set-price mechanism to guarantee the milk price improves year-on-year cashflow management for farmers. More than 90 per cent of Oceanic Dairy staff are local residents. Chinese President Xi Jinping opened the Yili plant in 2014.