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Stanhope Fonterra celebrates anniversary

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A recent photo of the Stanhope Fonterra factory demonstrating how the site has grown in comparison with the town. Photo by contibuted

The Stanhope community will celebrate the 100th birthday of its dairy factory this weekend, a year late, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Established as the Stanhope Dairy Co-operative, the factory has undergone a number of ownership changes over the years and is now part of the international Fonterra group.

A fire at the factory in 2014 became a pivotal moment for the site, as Fonterra decided it would rebuild the cheese making section and incorporate the latest technology.

The factory produces the “Perfect Italiano’’ brand cheese which is a popular mozzarella brand for pizza making.

The fire destroyed the cheesemaking area of the Stanhope factory.

On Sunday, June 26, the factory doors will be thrown open for tours and a barbecue lunch and family entertainment will be available at the Stanhope Community Hall, between 11am to 3pm.

An historical display will show the factory’s progress over the years, patrons can try their hands at butter making and cheese tasting will also be available.

New equipment arrives at the Stanhope cheese plant in 2018. Photo by Contributed
Stanhope resident Bob Holschier outside the Fonterra Stanhope factory mural, which comprises thousands of individual photographs. Photo by Geoff Adams