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Oceania Dairy

Oceania Dairy was established in response to a growing international demand for New Zealand milk powder.

The original investors in Oceania Dairy identified the South Canterbury/ North Otago area as a base for a number of key reasons. They recognized a prime dairying area with the land, climate, people and resources to sustain a long-term, profitable industry. They also identified that the area is home to some of New Zealand’s largest and most productive dairy farms run by progressive farmers.
The Glenavy site was chosen because of its proximity to a solid supply base with highly productive and generally larger scale dairy farms. Irrigation is allowing significant growth and a number of planned irrigation schemes look set to vastly increase the land available for dairying.

Support from local farmers to supply the new dairy company is strong.

Oceania Dairy was purchased in early 2013 by large Chinese dairy manufacturer and marketer, Yili. They progressed the construction of the milk processing plant with a $236 million investment into a state-of-the-art factory which began processing milk in the 2014 dairy season. Production from the Glenavy plant goes primarily into the factories and supply chain of Yili, the largest company in the dairy food market in China and one of the fastest growing dairy companies across the globe.

Oceania Dairy is a registered dairy exporter and operates under a Ministry for Primary Industry approved Risk Management Programme for its raw milk collection, manufacture, storage and transport of final product.

Oceania is positioned to capitalize on a number of factors that provide confidence to both shareholders and supply farmers:

  • The global demand for milk products is growing
  • New Zealand has established itself as a global leader in producing milk from renewable pastures and processing this into milk powders;
  • The high concentration of existing dairy farms will create significant efficiencies for our processing facility;
  • The potential for new dairy conversions and new irrigation schemes in South Canterbury and North Otago will result in increased milk supply in these regions; and
  • This will result in increased profitability for farmers and shareholders alike.

Yili Purchase

Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group (Yili), China’s largest dairy company, purchased the assets of Oceania Dairy in early 2013.

Yili produces and distributes dairy products and mixed feedstuffs, including milk powder for infants. It distributes its products primarily in domestic Chinese markets.

As a result of the purchase of Oceania, Yili commenced development of a $236 million infant formula milk processing plant on a 38ha block of land at Glenavy, near Waitaki River.

This investment in New Zealand is Yili’s first major offshore acquisition and has been undertaken to enhance Yili’s competitiveness.

Find out more about Yili »


Our state of the art plant is 4km north of Glenavy. A 10 tonne an hour milk powder dryer is capable of producing a range of milk powders from standard whole milk powders through speciality powders to infant formulae. All product is made for export to our parent company Yili.

The 12 ha processing site has room for expansion as required. Stage one of the multi stage development was commissioned in spring 2014.

At full production, stage one at Glenavy will be capable of producing 47,000 tonnes of milk powder. This powder is used for export to Yili in China to produce infant formula.

The factory employs more than 92 people in stage one, making it one of the more significant employers in the district.