Situated about 90 km east of Melbourne, Longwarry Food Park has a long history. The original dairy farm dates back almost 100 years and was owned by a local cooperative, processing local milk to produce butter and, later, powdered milk.
The original processing plant was decommissioned in 1999 and recommissioned in 2001 as a state-of-the-art plant manufacturing milk powder, long-life milk, fresh milk and cream cheese under the Gippy brand. It has an annual turnover of about $100m. Its products are sold in all three major supermarkets (ALDI, Woolies and Coles) and exported to over 30 different countries.
Longwarry Food Park takes its environmental responsibility seriously and has been awarded numerous environmental awards including the 2008 BRW Award for Excellence in Environmental Practices, the Australian Greenhouse Office award for Environment and Energy Management and 2014 Endeavour Award for Environmental Sustainability.
Longwarry's environmental credentials include reduced water, electricity and gas consumption through technological innovations, using high efficiency boilers and reduced bagging paper usage by 40%.
Longwarry Food Park was successful in obtaining a $50,000 capital funding grant through the Smarter Resources, Smarter Business program in 2013 for a Milk Powder Storage and Transport Optimisation project. The project has two components: firstly the optimising of milk powder bags to a thinner bag that fits more effectively on pallets and shipping containers and uses less paper. Secondly a new system and machinery was introduced into the milk powder packing line to more evenly distribute the powder in the bag, reducing air pockets and the overall size of the bag.
The project is on track to achieve the expected $50,000 annual savings through reduced packing materials, less damaged milk powder bags during storage and transport, and more efficient handling, warehousing and transport. The project has also resulted in reduced OH&S risks as stacked pallets of milk powder are more stable.
Longwarry Food Park has a strong focus on recovery of waste product; this project has enabled us to reduce milk powder waste. It has also made our packaged milk powder more appealing to customers because our bags are uniform in size and shape now. The project could not have been done without the financial help from Sustainability Victoria.
Rakesh Aggarwal – General Manager, Longwarry Food Park
Longwarry Food Park will continue its focus on recovering product waste and is now looking at recovery of milk residue left in milk tankers after unloading.