Silver Fern Farms has formed a blood protein joint
partnership with a United States-based biotechnology company.
The partnership to make bovine blood plasma products is with
Proliant Inc, which produces bovine serum albumin (BSA) used
in the production of diagnostic/medical kit manufacturing,
biopharmaceuticals, veterinary medicines, vaccines and
antibodies, nutraceuticals and life-science research.
New facilities to automate much of the closed-circuit capture
of blood will be established at Silver Fern Farms' meat
processing plants in the North and South Islands.
Initial installations of the automated collection systems
were planned for the Te Aroha and Finegand plants.
The agreement fitted with the company's strategy of creating
value from co-products and with the company's sustainability
ethos, Silver Fern Farms chief executive Keith Cooper said.
''Proliant is an ideal partner, offering high technology,
processing and global marketing expertise.
''A partnership of this nature, with the potential for
additional multimillion-dollar revenue to our co-operative
over the tenure of the agreement will ensure that together we
make the most of market opportunities and grow value from our
products over the medium term,'' he said.
New Zealand produced about 1500 tonnes of blood plasma per
annum, of which 99% was exported for use in the manufacture
of medical pharmaceuticals and nutritional products. The
investment also aligned with the Ministry of Business
Innovation and Employment's business growth agenda themes of
encouraging innovation with clear links to export markets, Mr
''This is a significant shift for our industry as annual
production of blood plasma is predicted to grow six-fold over
the next five years as a result of this agreement. We are
also now dealing directly with the manufacturer through this
partnership,'' he said.
Proliant chief executive Steve Welch said the partnership
would be the start of a long-term relationship between the
''New Zealand is a safe place to source bovine proteins as it
has a negligible risk of BSE as well as other animal diseases
of significance. It makes this country attractive for these
kinds of long-term investments,'' he said.