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Carst and Walker
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Bloemfontein dairy makes history

The 25th of November 2009 marked the official opening of Bloemfontein-based Homsek Dairy’s UHT milk factory – the first dairy plant in South Africa and Africa to pack long-life milk in plastic bottles.

The event signified the successful completion of a new journey in the South African dairy industry – a green field project of two years in the making, involving thousands of man-hours, productive collaboration, truly pioneering work and a substantial investment. Read the full story of the Homsek plant, published in April, here.

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Philip de Weerdt (MD Nampak Rigid Plastics), Rainer Ammann (owner & MD of Ampack Ammann – suppliers of the aseptic filler), Simon Susman (CEO Woolworths), Anton Homsek (owner & MD of Homsek Dairy) and Willem Pienaar (MD Nampak Liquid) officially open the groundbreaking plant.

The opening comes as a culmination of a partnership between Homsek Dairy, Woolworths and packaging company Nampak Liquid. Together, they developed a special multi-layer bottle and installed sophisticated processing and filling machinery to provide the milk with the stringent hygiene and barrier properties needed for this groundbreaking project.

On the day of the opening, local guests mingled with those who had come from as far-a-field as Germany and Britain and were welcomed at Homsek with an opening prayer and a tour of the dairy facility. After that, they moved to Nampak Liquid’s Bloemfontein plant, where regional director Andre Beukes’ team demonstrated how the sophisticated multi-layer bottles are produced. This was followed by a trip to local organic farmer and Homsek milk supplier, Boelie Griesel’s farm, Oppiekoppie. All in all the tour provided a complete view of the entire new UHT milk bottling process.

Fittingly, the UHT tour ended back at the place which gave fresh life to long life – Homsek Dairy. Woolworths’ CEO Simon Susman officially unveiled the opening plaque.

Following a collaboration between the three main players (Woolworths, Homsek and Nampak Liquid) and a host of international and local suppliers and milk producers, Homsek Dairy can now proudly lay claim to being the first dairy in South Africa to pack long-life milk in a plastic bottle, rather than the ubiquitous carton.

Philip de Weerdt, Nampak executive director, commended Homsek Dairy and Woolworths for having the foresight, belief and enthusiasm to embark on such a large scale and groundbreaking project.

 

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