China takes on fresh WA milk

28 Apr, 2016 01:00 AM
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WAFarmers former president Dale Park, chief executive officer Stephen Brown and dairy section president Phil Depiazzi with WAFarmers First milk now on the shelves in China.
WAFarmers former president Dale Park, chief executive officer Stephen Brown and dairy section president Phil Depiazzi with WAFarmers First milk now on the shelves in China.

WAFARMERS hopes to begin air freighting regular weekly consignments of its fresh milk into China in two to three weeks.

A third and possibly final 300 litre trial consignment of WAFarmers' fresh milk in 1L plastic bottles has been despatched from the Harvey Fresh plant, where WAFarmersFirst milk is processed, and air-freighted to China.

WAFarmers president Tony York confirmed the first regular weekly deliveries into China were scheduled to start soon.

He said there were two previous smaller trail consignments with volumes building each up time.

"We're hoping to start the regular weekly dispatch in a couple of weeks - two to three weeks if everything goes well," Mr York said.

"It's quite a detailed logistics challenge.

"China has its own endorsed testing and quarantine facility here in Australia, but it's in Melbourne.

"So we have to air freight a sample of our milk to Melbourne for testing at the same time as we are sending the consignment to China and hope that by the time the consignment gets there the approval for it to enter the country has arrived.

"Doing it that way we maximise the shelf life of the milk in China."

Mr York said the export of WAFarmers milk to China was a collaboration between Perth-based Chinese entrepreneur and Lifeland chief executive officer Sha Yi, Harvey Fresh and WAFarmers.

He stressed it was not a commercial venture designed to provide a new revenue stream for WAFarmers, unlike its WAFarmersFirst brand milk sold through Coles supermarkets.

Mr York said the export of milk to China was intended more as a demonstration to the WA dairy industry of what could be done.

The project was driven by former WAFarmers president Dale Park who continued to be involved with it, he said.

Mr York said it was the first time commercial quantities of WA fresh milk had been exported to China.

Previous exports had been of milk powder or long-life milk, he said.

Mr Park announced the intended export of milk and honey to China at WAFarmers' inaugural Heart of WA ball last September.

FarmWeekly
Mal Gill

Mal Gill

is wool and dairy writer for Farm Weekly

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