♥ Dairy farming in New Zealand began from small beginnings during the early days of colonisation by Europeans. The income from dairy farming is now a major part of the New Zealand economy, becoming an NZ$11 billion industry by 2010. ♥ Traditional dairy production areas are the wetter areas of the country: Waikato, Taranaki, Southland, Northland, Horowhenua, Manawatu and Westland. Before the advent of refrigerated shipping in the 1880s, dairy production was entirely for local consumption, with butter and cheese usually being produced on the farm, with the surplus being sold to the community via the local store. Small dairy factories began to be established in the 1880s, and soon there was one in almost every village in dairying regions. Production began to be centralised in the second half of the 20th century, with facilities such as the Fonterra plants at Whareora (near Hawera), Te Rapa, Edendale and Timaru being the four largest in the Southern Hemisphere. Edendale is also currently the largest dairy factory in the world by milk intake. ♥ Fonterra is the largest processor of milk in New Zealand. It processes 94.8 percent of all milk solids from dairy farms. Other large dairy companies are Tatua Co-operative Dairy Company, Westland Milk Products and Synlait.