Alan Stewart in front of the protein products Hansells Masterton will manufacture in Masterton. PHOTO/KAREN COLTMAN

The imminent $400,000 purchase of Australian company Naturalac Nutrition Limited by Hansells Masterton launches the Wairarapa company back into manufacturing.

“This purchase will add about $7 million to our turnover, about half of which would be made in the Masterton factory and the rest mainly made in other factories around the country,” Hansells Masterton executive chairman Alan Stewart said.

“We pick up existing listings with supermarkets and other shops and gyms as well as all the old established brand names.”

The sale of 3.2 hectares of Hansells’ land to Arvida Ltd for the Lansdowne Park expansion made the purchase possible.

Hansells has also bought the Rothford sales and marketing crew, SURGE SMC.

This is a small marketing company which would work from the first floor of the Hansells office on State Highway 2.

Stewart intended to recruit another person to that three-person team to help promote and sell the newly acquired Naturalac products: Replace, Covert, Plant Pro, and Elite.

The company already packages some of the products but in March would own the whole range currently produced in Australia.

A fifth of what Hansells would make in Masterton would go back to the Australian market.

When Hansells Auckland was bought by Walter and Wild Ltd in June 2018, the new company, owned by billionaire Graeme Hart and his son Harry Hart, elected to make Vitafresh and then Hansells yoghurt mix in the Auckland factory rather than in Masterton.

This left Hansells directors Alan Stewart, Tim Holmes, and Fred Himstedt looking around for more business.

Stewart told his staff the good news on Monday morning that they were expanding operations.

“The crew had a rough time when we lost Vitafresh and yoghurt mix production to Auckland and I always give them news first.

“We operate like a family.

“It’s all great timing and everyone is excited that we are growing.

“We are going to dust off some old equipment, buy some more, and make these milk powder protein products.

“We didn’t sell our manufacturing gear when we sold part of the business five years ago, and it is great to be getting going again.

“We keep our eyes open for what we can do, not what we have lost but how we can grow and keep jobs and production here.”

The company is recruiting another manufacturer through DRAKE New Zealand, Masterton.