Fonterra teams up with Cork research center to develop new products

New Zealand’s largest dairy company, the Fonterra Co-operative Group, has teamed up with a research center in Co. Cork to develop new probiotic products.

Fonterra has signed a new strategic research partnership with APC Microbiome Ireland (APC), a world-leading Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research center based at University College Cork (UCC).

As part of the partnership Fonterra plans to establish a new microbiome research center based in UCC to “maximise the collaborative relationship” with APC.

The new center is expected to be operational before the end of this year.

Fonterra milk truck
Fonterra milk truck. Source: Fonterra

Mark Malone, Fonterra’s director of research and development, said: “This new partnership with APC is a fantastic opportunity for Fonterra to collaborate with world leading experts in the field of probiotics and microbiome research.

“This will increase Fonterra’s health and nutrition expertise and accelerate our development of new and differentiated nutritional offerings.”

Fonterra recently reported a profit of NZ$1.6 billion – up 170% – for the financial year to July 31, 2023.

The global dairy nutrition co-op, owned by 9,000 farmers, also reported a final 2022/23 season farmgate milk price of NZ$8.22 per kilograms of milk solids (kgMS).

Research partnership

According to Paul Ross, director APC Microbiome Ireland, the new research partnership with the New Zealand dairy producer is a “significant development” for the center.

“We are delighted to be working together with Fonterra.

“This latest collaboration with industry underlines APC’s reputation as a global leader in microbiome research and our expertise in supporting new product development with our Irish and international industry partners,” he added.

APC chiefly focuses on “understanding the gastrointestinal bacterial community and harnessing the power of the microbiome” to promote health and well-being.

The president of UCC, Professor John O’Halloran, said its partnership with the New Zealand group “reinforces the commitment APC shares with Fonterra to develop new, evidence-based products that support lifelong health”.

Teacher. O’Halloran added: “It reflects UCC’s international reputation in science and innovation and is an important milestone in our UCC Futures – Food, Microbiome and Health strategy which aims to provide solutions to some of the most important challenges of our time.”


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