Kyabram the home of new milk processing factory

By Rodney Woods

A new milk processing factory is coming to Kyabram, with the Kyabram Jam Company set to invest $40 million to $50 million to diversify the former SPC-owned IXL site.

The investment will see dairy-related infrastructure installed from January, and be operational in six to 12 months.

“We will be talking with local dairy farmers in the coming months about supplying milk to the new facility, creating more opportunity across the local community,” a company spokesperson said.

The investment is expected to create 30 new jobs, which will comprise manufacturing and processing positions.

Kyabram Jam Company directors Adam Pretty, from Undera, and Loi Tuan Ee, from Malaysia, purchased the business in October because of the heritage brands that have been around since 1898, employee enthusiasm and the expansion suitability of the site.

Mr Ee became involved in the dairy industry about 10 years ago in Malaysia, to develop a major fresh milk delivery system in a market dominated by reconstituted products.

He started his dairy with about 60 cows imported from Australia and his herds now number about 3500.

His company offers a range of fresh, flavored, and cultured milk and yoghurt drinks, with an emphasis on reaching shelves within 48 hours of milking.

Despite the diversification, the spokesperson said all IXL and Taylor's brand products would still be processed. The factory currently produces IXL jams and Taylor's marinades and sauces.

“We will be keeping 100 per cent of all brands active and developing them further, aiming to return them to their former glory,” the spokesperson said.

“It is an option (to sell the dairy products under the IXL Taylor's brand) but it won't be wholly (sold under that brand name).”

The company estimates the value to the region will be in the vicinity of $60 to $70 million as a result of retained and expansion activities.

Country News contacted nearby milk processing factory Kyvalley Dairy, whose owner and managing director Wayne Mulcahy said it was too early to tell whether the two companies would work together but said it will be a positive for the town.