More fresh NZ milk flown into China
More New Zealand fresh milk is winging its way to China as another company enters the market, bringing the total amount to more than 60,000 litres a month.
Chinese-owned Milk New Zealand has secured a trading agreement with the world’s largest online retailer Alibaba to market its fresh milk direct to Chinese consumers.
Company managing director Terry Lee said it was anticipating production of about 20,000 bottles per month until the end of 2017 when production would lift to about 80,000 bottles per month by the end of 2018.
There will be a two-price structure, with regular Alibaba members paying $8 per litre, but there would be a special price to ‘‘VVIP’’ members of $8 per two litres.
The VVIP channel consists of about 570,000 middle to upperclass families. Sales of the milk will be launched this week using a live webcast to consumers.
‘‘This is also the first time Alibaba will promote a fresh product directly via live webcast to its VVIP members and, as such, this collaboration has created a new model of how to promote New Zealand fresh products directly to Chinese consumers,’’ Lee said..
The live webcast will be transmitted from the farm near Hamilton where the milk is produced and allow consumers to see the level of animal welfare and environmental care that goes into milk production.
The milk is branded as Theland Farm Fresh Milk and has a shelf life of 16 days.
Lee said the milk should arrive in customers’ hands within 3-4 days of processing. The company has carried out trials using couriers who deliver the milk direct to homes, and there had been no contamination issues.
He hoped the new venture would be an example for other fresh produce exporters to imitate.
Regarding the issue of lactose intolerance in Asians, Lee said a younger generation of Asians who had been exposed to cows’ milk was less intolerant than their parents.
Auckland-based company Oravida has been exporting about 40,000 litres of fresh milk a month to China for four years. Both Milk New Zealand and Oravida use processor Green Valley Dairy. General manager Corrie den Haring said the company processed a range of different types of milk.
Milk New Zealand’s Theland-branded fresh milk in now available in China.