Global metal packaging manufacturer Jamestrong opened a new $15 million, future-proofed, can making facility in Auckland last night, catering to the burgeoning infant formula market. PKN was there.
Infant formula has been dubbed the white gold of the ANZ region, and the attendant rush seems to be showing no signs of abating with China driving demand and growth. The industry has an estimated value of $32 billion per annum, enjoying a CAGR of over five per cent. For Jamestrong Packaging, a market leading supplier of metal cans to infant formula manufacturers, this is good news.
At the opening of the company's Wiri, Auckland facility, its third plant in the region and the second in New Zealand in under two years, ANZ CEO Alex Commins said, "It’s quite incredible to be part of an industry where there is an insatiable appetite for our local product."
Addressing the invited guests, which included Jamestrong shareholders, employees and customers, Commins said stringent food safety and quality controls were integral to the Jamestrong Packaging manufacturing regime, and a key focus when commissioning a new high care facility that produces metal packaging intended for infant formula.
He noted that infant formula from the region was considered of green and safe provenance, and that it was incumbent on Jamestrong to ensure the safety of its end of the supply chain by investing in high care manufacturing of the highest standard.
"As we stand here tonight marvelling at modern technology, and at metal packaging at its sexiest, we reflect on the fact that we are but one part of a crucial supply chain of a life source – milk – and the nutrients within it that sustain life.
"However, if not properly cared for from its source to the point of delivery… a precious baby human being could be put at risk. Our job within our business is clear. Take all risk out of play."
The new plant comes just seventeen months after the company established a similar high care facility in Hornby, Christchurch.
Jamestrong also has a high care infant formula can manufacturing plant in Kyabram, Australia, which opened in 2016.
Commins said: “The fact that we have opened three production facilities in just over three years speaks volumes about the trajectory of New Zealand and Australia’s infant formula market and the demand coming from international markets, in particular China.”
Commins spoke of the investment over recent years in high end technology across Jamestrong facilities: "Since 2015, when our shareholders originally purchased this can-making enterprise, they have supported the investment and commissioning in 2016 of a $13 million state of the art KBA Metal Star printing press. Based in Milperra NSW it delivers the highest quality decorated tinplate in the ANZ marketplace by far."
He added that a further $12 million dollar investment in 2016 saw the commissioning of the first high care facility for Infant formula can manufacture at Jamestrong's Australian site in Kyabram, Victoria. In March 2016, a second $13 million high-care facility opened in Christchurch, NZ. And the newest plant in Auckland, at $15 million, brings the total investment to $52 million.
"This investment and execution in set up of high care infant formula can making is unrivalled in the Trans-Tasman market hands down."
“Jamestrong Packaging is committed to supporting our clients with innovative, hygienic and, most importantly, safe packaging. We are grateful for the trust they place in us, which rests in a huge way on having market-leading high care facilities and world class productivity output such as the one we are opening today in Wiri, Auckland. The infant formula market is an industry where safety is everything, and failure right through the supply chain, is simply not an option.”
Commins went on to thank key customer Synlait and its partner A2 for putting their faith in Jamestrong as their critical supply partner. Jamestrong and Synlait recently signed a long-term supply agreement.
Apart from Synlait, other customers in attendance included Oceania/Yili, Bodco, Pure Nutrition, as well as potential customers New Zealand New Milk, Blue River Dairy, GMP and Fonterra.
Andrew Buchan, GM Technical and R&D ANZ, told PKN the facility was custom designed by an in-house team, using experience from building the company's other nutritional lines as well as the expertise from their ORG colleagues and machine suppliers.
"The facility has been built to meet Jamestrong Clean Room standards that meet or exceed customer requirements," he said. "The building designers and constructors and worked with JSP to develop and build a setup perfect for a high quality packaging manufacturer."
Buchan said the initial leadership and crews were part of the project team to ensure full ownership of the plant and a tightly knit team.
The current production capacity is in excess of 50 million cans per annum, but the plant has been designed for future expansion, with space and utilities ready to accommodate a second line, that will neatly double the capacity.