THE dairy industry continues to make the news, with Wellard this week announcing it had secured two contracts that, in total, will supply 22,500 dairy cattle to Sri Lanka.
The two Wellard contracts, which are worth almost $100 million, have been signed with the Sri Lankan Department of Economic Development (SLDED) and will involve up to five shipments of Friesian-Jersey cross heifers during the next two years.
Wellard will source and supply 20,000 heifers in the next two years to service the larger contract, as well as providing management and veterinary support.
In a second contract, supported by Rabobank and Australia's Export Finance Investment Corporation, Wellard will supply 2500 Friesian-Jersey cross heifers to a greenfields farm in Sri Lanka to be built by Wellard complete with sheds, a milking parlour and machinery.
The contracts build on the recent and successful completion of a previous contract to supply 2000 dairy heifers to SLDED, which also included the renovation of existing facilities and provision of management and education.
Wellard chief executive officer Mauro Balzarini said the contract with the Sri Lankan Government reflected Wellard's previous performance and ability to provide high quality animals and capacity building.
"Let me congratulate our team for this successful contract," Mr Balzarini said.
"They have again proven that Wellard has the capability to select high performance animals that meet required health protocols, ship them safely to Sri Lanka and assist with the ongoing management to ensure they are cared for appropriately while maximising their milk production," he said.
Mr Balzarini also paid tribute to Wellard's partner in Sri Lanka, Foresight, which is part of the Access Group, and the company's project manager Johann Wasserman, for the success of the initial supply and husbandry program and their ongoing role with the two new contracts.
Wellard dairy general manager Colin Webb said the success of the initial contract for 2000 cattle helped build the relationship to allow this larger contract to occur.
"All parties to the original supply agreement have been delighted with its implementation," Mr Webb said.
"We are therefore pleased to have been able to build on that relationship and the knowledge gained with a significantly larger contract."
Sri Lanka only produces 42 per cent of its milk requirements on home soil and imports the remainder to meet demand, equating to about US$300 million per year.
As the contracts are still in early stages, numbers of where the dairy cows will be sourced from are yet to be confirmed.