INDEPENDENT NEWS

Southern Dairy Hub Gets Green Light

Published: Tue 2 Jun 2015 10:19 AM
Southern Dairy Hub Gets Green Light
The Southern Dairy Hub has the approval needed to proceed from its industry partners, DairyNZ and AgResearch.
Southern Dairy Development Trust Chair Matthew Richards says the Trust presented the results of its fundraising efforts to the Board of Directors of DairyNZ and AgResearch this month, and sought their approval and financial backing.
The Trust received 516 farmer pledges, with funds committed totalling $1.3 million. It had targeted $2 million in farmer pledges towards the proposal but the support from a majority of southern dairy farmers was a key determining factor in both Boards’ decision for the Hub to go ahead.
“DairyNZ and AgResearch were pleased with the level of farmers that are prepared to back the Trust’s proposal – especially in a low milk payout time in the industry. Both Boards wanted to see strong farmer commitment to the proposal and this was a key factor in their decision for the Hub to go ahead. Both Boards know how important the Hub project is for our region and are fully behind us,” Mr Richards says.
“Having their support means we can move to the next phase of the Hub development with full confidence.”
He says the next step is to finalise the purchase of a suitable farm. “We have been looking at some properties that could meet our needs and now we are in a position to advance these discussions and proceed towards a purchase.”
Mr Richards says work will then begin to gain the consents required and in the design and planning of the Hub development – including the farm, dairy and support infrastructure.
“It’s going to be a tight timeframe to be ready for milking cows in June next year, but our team is ready and focused on making this happen.”
Mr Richards says the pledging website will remain ‘live’ until the day the Hub is completed as the financial contribution target wasn’t reached and some farmers may still wish to pledge.
The Southern Dairy Hub aims to be an innovation centre where ideas and concepts are tested that will benefit southern dairy farmers and the future of dairying in the south.
Visit www.southerndairyhub.co.nz for more information.
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