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 one-litre plastic bottles was dispatched last Friday 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.
"Last week's was the third consignment in a trial, there have been two previous smaller trial consignments with the volumes building up each time," Mr York said.
"We're hoping to start the regular weekly dispatch in a couple of weeks - two to three weeks if everything goes well.
"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," he said.
Mr York said the export of WAFarmers milk to China was a collaboration between Perth-based Chinese entrepreneur and chief executive officer of Lifeland, 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.