The factory at Whareroa, three kilometres south of Hawera in South Taranaki, is the world's largest dairy processing complex on one site.
With the 2001 merger of Kiwi Dairies and the New Zealand Dairy Group, the factory is now owned by Fonterra, one of the world's largest dairy companies.
Operations began on the site in August 1973. Capacity more than doubled in 1984 with the merger of Kiwi and Taranaki co-operative dairy companies. Owned by 1,500 dairy farmer shareholders,
Kiwi Dairies could process 4.5 million litres of milk daily into milk powder, butter, cheese and casein protein powder. In 1990 the factory processed 12 per cent of New Zealand's milk production.
According to engineeringnz.org