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Australian Dairy Pioneers Look to Expand Presence in Booming Chinese Market

Australia 22.01.2024
Source: The DairyNews
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In the heart of Australia's picturesque South Gippsland, under a radiant summer sky, herds of contented cows graze peacefully, setting the scene for a prosperous year ahead. Farmer Clint Staley, overseeing approximately 700 cows on his farm, anticipates producing over 17,000 liters of fresh milk daily, signaling a potential boom.
Australian Dairy Pioneers Look to Expand Presence in Booming Chinese Market
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South Gippsland Shire, located about 160 km southeast of Melbourne, encompasses 10 percent of Victoria's dairy farms. With over 30,000 residents and seven times as many cows, the region holds a key position in Australia's dairy industry. As China stands as the largest importer of Australian dairy products, local leaders emphasize the pivotal role of Australian companies in the Chinese market.

Jon McNaught, CEO of ViPlus Dairy, a leading nutritional and functional milk powder manufacturer with a history spanning over 130 years, highlights China's centrality to their business: "China is our largest single market and the most important market, constituting over 80 percent of our operations." ViPlus Dairy, renowned for supplying a diverse range of products, fr om infant and adult formulas to pregnancy formulas, whole milk, and skim milk powder, has been a consistent participant in the China International Import Expo (CIIE) since 2018.

McNaught underscores the CIIE's significance in fostering business interactions with China, providing a platform to engage with existing clients and explore emerging trends and opportunities. The company plans to continue its presence at CIIE this year, aiming to delve further into the expansive Chinese market.

Despite global uncertainties, ViPlus Dairy remains confident in the strength of the Chinese consumer market. McNaught affirms, "While markets worldwide are experiencing uncertainty, our foundation in China remains robust, and the consumer market continues to thrive."

Christian Stefani, Manager of Economy, Community, and Investment at South Gippsland Shire Council, emphasizes the importance of Asian markets, particularly China, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, in driving regional product exports. Stefani takes pride in the globally renowned dairy products originating from South Gippsland, produced in an environmentally conscious setting.

Highlighting the significance of the dairy sector, Stefani expresses local pride, stating, "When people think of South Gippsland, they often think about dairy production, and that's something we are very proud of." He envisions a future wh ere an increasing number of Chinese tourists visit South Gippsland to appreciate its scenic beauty, unique farming culture, and deepen their understanding of the local dairy products.
Gabrielle Chan
Gabrielle Chan
Author and journalist, and was previously Guardian Australia's rural and regional editor
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April 2024
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