December 16, 2015
Morwell’s Lion Dairy and Drinks manufacturing site is well-placed to capitalise on increased trade opportunities with Asia and the Federal Government’s innovation agenda, according to Gippsland MP Darren Chester.
The Morwell plant manufactures some of Australia’s best-known yoghurt and dairy dessert brands, including Yoplait, YoGo, Dairy Farmers, Farmers Union and Fruche. It provides 30 per cent of Australia’s consumer market yoghurt, and is one of the largest private employers in the Latrobe Valley with 180 full-time equivalent staff.
Mr Chester toured the Morwell plant on Friday to hear how Lion was expanding its footprint in the yoghurt, cheese and milk based beverages markets, with an eye to more exports into Asia.
“With the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement entering into force from December 20, I’m very confident the Morwell factory will continue to play an important role in supplying Gippsland’s ‘clean and green’ dairy products into new markets,” Mr Chester said.
“The brands made here in Morwell are some of Australia’s most-recognisable, and source milk from local farmers. This is a great example of how major food producers and Gippsland dairy farmers can benefit from increased demand for our milk, cheese and yoghurt products.
“I look forward to working with Lion on exploring new ways they can reap the benefits of the new China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.
“The Prime Minister’s recent innovation statement has also called on private companies to collaborate more with universities, which is something Lion Foods is already doing with Federation University in Churchill – and looking to expand that relationship.
“Gippsland has a bright future ahead in the food manufacturing and supply industry and I look forward to helping Lion capitalise on new opportunities.”
CAPTION: Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester (second from left) samples the yoghurt manufactured at Morwell’s Lion Dairy and Drinks manufacturing site, with Lion Dairy and Drinks senior team members Elise Gare, Ian Haberfield and Ken Sanders.