Chinese owned dairy company plans to ramp up production

Chinese owned Yo You dairy company in south west Gippsland plans to double its herd size and export over 10,000 litres of fresh milk a day to China.

Gippsland will be the first phase in an operation to establish seven dairy farms across NSW and Victoria to sell premium milk to Chinese consumers at $7 a litre, ABC Rural reports.

The Yo You dairy company runs a farm in Kernot, 100km south-east of Melbourne, and is majority owned by the Ningbo Group, a top 500 company in China.

The company wants to build a processing plant and feedlot in the Bass Coast Shire but it has already faced local opposition.

Managing the permit application on behalf of the group is the professional services company GHD.

GHD manager Jon McNought said he had been waiting for an opportunity to increase investment in Australian dairy.

"They've been interested in the region as far as I'm aware for two or three years since the Chinese scare with their own product," he said.

"A lot of companies have been looking at sourcing dairy products from outside China and Australia is a very attractive proposition for that."

Mr McNough said Australia's free trade agreement with China had accelerated investment in agribusiness in Gippsland with local councils assessing more permits from Chinese companies.

"Even though Yo You have been operating here for a few years they have put this plan into action since the free trade agreement was signed, so that has encouraged them with their planned investment," he said.

"They have chosen Gippsland as their first one mainly because of their proximity to the airport where they will be flying the product out to China."

The China-Austaralia fresh milk market has been busy with activity, with many companies scrambling to position themselves to benefit from the FTA.

Devondale Murray Goulburn has re-launched its Devondale long life milk in China, with bilingual translations, clear messaging about country of origin and the farm's cooperative story.

Fonterra has also been edging closer to securing a milk deal with China, with China’s Ministry of Commerce recently granting anti-trust and strategic foreign investment approval for the proposed partnership with Beingmate.


Delegation finds “real opportunity to expand trade” in India

Senator Richard Colbeck said Australia and India’s trade relationship has the opportunity to continue to strengthen and grow.

Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, has returned from a week-long trade mission to India with a positive outlook on a potential a Free Trade Agreement with India.

The event, Australian Business Week in India (ABWI), was attended by about 450 people including representatives of Australia's food, beverage, fibre and textile industries, and the Australian and Indian governments.

“We have a real opportunity to expand trade both ways and I believe our trade relationship can continue to strengthen and grow beyond ABWI – to the mutual benefit of farmers and producers in Australia, and farmers, producers and consumers in India,” Colbeck said.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi have said publicly that they want to lock in a free trade deal by the end of the year.

“It was a real privilege to be involved in discussions that will give Australian exporters, our food and beverage, and innovative agricultural technology companies an opportunity to engage with the important trade market in India,” Colbeck said.

“India is a significant and rapidly developing market – it was worth over $675 million in Australia's agricultural, fishery and forestry exports in 2013-14. There is an opportunity to assist with development and then expand with the growth of the market.

“Tapping into overseas business environments can be daunting and the Australian Government understands this. We remain committed to assisting our primary industries to help build Australia's reputation as a reliable and consistent exporter of quality food and fibre.”

Senator Colbeck attended high-level meetings with key industry members and participated in forums and bi-lateral talks on future opportunities for agriculture, textile, food and grocery trade.

“I was fortunate to speak at a number of key events to promote Australia's food and beverage and dairy industries. I heard with interest about India's national dairy plan and was able to reinforce how Australia can be a partner in helping achieve these goals,” Colbeck said.

Australian Business Week in India agricultural activities were hosted across the major cities of New Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad from 10-16 January.