Waipa’s high concentration of elite soils, ample rainfall and temperate climate make it one of the New Zealand’s most productive agricultural and horticultural regions. A range of food processors have established in Waipa on the back of the primary sector.
The agricultural industry in Waipa is dominated by dairying which on its own, accounts for more than 10 per cent of local jobs. Waipa’s biggest single employer is Fonterra, New Zealand’s biggest company and a global leader in the production of world-class dairy products.
Fonterra has based two of its production plants in Waipa. The Hautapu plan is the headquarters for Fonterra’s global protein and cheese teams, specialising in high-value products like casein, whey-protein concentrate, hydrolysate, lactoferrin, milk protein concentrate and lactose. At peak, the Hautapu plant processes four million litres of milk each day into products bound for the USA, Europe, China and a range of Asian markets.
Fonterra’s second Waipa site in Te Awamutu processes three million litres of milk daily into a range of high-specification milk powders for export to Europe, Russian, the Middle East, the USA, India, China and Japan.
While dominated by dairy farming, Waipa also supports sheep and beef enterprises, deer farming and meat, chicken and duck processing.
Horticultural production includes blueberries, asparagus, apples, as well as cut flowers, vegetable and maize growing, strawberries, melons, nectarines, peaches, pears, kiwifruit, olives, grapes and onions.
Waipa’s agricultural and agritech prowess is showcased every June at the National Agricultural Fielday’s exhibition at Mystery Creek. This international event attracts more than 1400 exhibitors from around the world and more than 120,000 visitors over four days.