Feihe to milk prof­its from new On­tario plant

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS -

OT­TAWA — Feihe In­ter­na­tional Inc, a lead­ing man­u­fac­turer of in­fant for­mula in China, said it is ramp­ing up con­struc­tion of a plant val­ued at C$300 mil­lion ($234 mil­lion) in the Cana­dian prov­ince of On­tario. The plant is ex­pected to come on­stream in 2019.

Leng Youbin, chair­man of Feihe In­ter­na­tional Inc, told Xin­hua in Ot­tawa on Tues­day that Feihe’s board de­cided to in­vest and set up the plant in the city of Kingston, be­cause of the re­gion’s natural and cul­tural fea­tures.

“We in­spected many places, in­clud­ing some in the US and other parts of Canada, and came to con­clu­sion that Kingston is very good place for pro­duc­tion,” Leng said.

Xia Xiang, eco­nomic and com­mer­cial coun­selor at the Chinese Em­bassy in Ot­tawa, said this would be China’s big­gest in­vest­ment in Canada’s agri-food sec­tor so far and also Canada’s largest-ever for­eign in­vest­ment in the field.

Ac­cord­ing to Xia, Canada hasn’t made its own baby for­mula for more than 20 years. The Cana­dian Dairy Com­mis­sion tried for a cou­ple of years to find a do­mes­tic pro­ces­sor, but no Cana­dian pro­ces­sors were in­ter­ested in ex­pand­ing into baby for­mula.

The Canada Dairy Com­mis­sion then broad­ened its search to Euro­pean and Asian com-

pa­nies and early last year found its fit in Feihe: a man­u­fac­turer with over 50 years of ex­pe­ri­ence and keen to ex­pand to North Amer­ica.

Feihe has been in the in­fant for­mula in­dus­try since 1954 and has six man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties in China.

Feihe’s new Cana­dian sub­sidiary is in­cor­po­rated as Canada Royal Milk, so it can ac­cess the same gov­ern­ment fund­ing avail­able to do­mes­tic pro­ces­sors.

The Chinese group has been ap­proved for two fed­eral pro­grams: the milk ac­cess for growth pro­gram, which al­lows it to buy milk, and a match­ing in­vest­ment fund, which of­fers non-re­payable con­tri­bu­tions to com­pa­nies that in­no­vate.

Feihe’s new plant is lo­cated in the Cataraqui Es­tates Busi­ness Park in Kingston. It has been un­der con­struc­tion since June and is ex­pected to be fully op­er­a­tional in late 2019. Some 20 per­cent of the plant’s

prod­ucts will stay in North Amer­ica, with the rest ex­port­ing to China.

“It will be Canada’s first and only wet in­fant for­mula fa­cil­ity and North Amer­ica’s first and only goat milk in­fant for­mula man­u­fac­turer,” Leng said.

“It will man­u­fac­ture up to 60,000 met­ric tons of dry in­fant food an­nu­ally, us­ing milk from Cana­dian farms.”

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