Fon­terra in Bangladesh deal

Marlborough Express - - BUSINESS - CHRIS HUTCHING

Fon­terra has signed a new sole distri­bu­tion agree­ment to make An­chor milk pow­der avail­able to mil­lions more con­sumers in Bangladesh.

‘‘We cur­rently sell over 28,000 met­ric tonnes of dairy in­gre­di­ents to lo­cal food and bev­er­age man­u­fac­tur­ers in Bangladesh, every year. That’s a great start, but there’s lots more op­por­tu­nity on of­fer,’’ Fon­terra’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Sri Lanka and In­dian sub­con­ti­nent, Su­nil Sethi, said.

Fon­terra’s me­dia re­lease this week was pre-empted in the The Bangladeshi Post news­pa­per, which re­ported on the ex­clu­sive deal with ACI Agrolink last month af­ter An­chor Milk held a pack­age­un­veil­ing cer­e­mony in the Radis­son Blu Wa­ter Gar­den Ho­tel in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Fon­terra’s trade with Bangladesh hasn’t been with­out hic­cups – pow­der im­ported to Bangladesh has been im­pounded in 2008 and 2013 over con­tam­i­na­tion scares.

Fon­terra and New Zealand gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials sub­se­quently sent a del­e­ga­tion to Bangladesh to ex­plore trade pro­pos­als.

In Jan­uary 2017 a del­e­ga­tion led by Fon­terra di­rec­tor John Mon­aghan vis­ited Dhaka and sub­mit­ted a trade pro­posal to the Bangladeshi gov­ern­ment.

The An­chor pow­der was sold in a for­mu­la­tion called NutriShakti, ‘‘a nu­tri­bun­dle’’, Sethi said.

Ac­cord­ing to the Bangladesh Na­tional Nutri­tion Pol­icy 2015, the diet of most Bangladeshis is made up mostly of grains, lead­ing to an ab­sence of some pro­teins and mi­cronu­tri­ents.

‘‘Our An­chor full cream milk pow­der comes with more than 23 nu­tri­ents in­clud­ing pro­tein, cal­cium, vi­ta­mins and min­er­als.’’

Sethi said the pop­u­la­tion of Bangladesh has grown by more than 10 per cent in the past decade to more than 160 mil­lion peo­ple and it now makes up 2 per cent of the world’s pop­u­la­tion.

The Bangladesh mar­ket cre­ated an ex­cit­ing growth op­por­tu­nity to bring dairy nutri­tion to more con­sumers through part­ner­ships ‘‘so we can do well, by do­ing good’’, Sethi said.

A spokesman for ACI Agrolink wel­comed the new ar­range­ment, which would ‘‘en­rich peo­ple’s lives by sup­ply­ing safe, high-qual­ity dairy nutri­tion to the peo­ple of Bangladesh’’.

One of the most pop­u­lar milk pow­ders used in Bangladesh comes from the milk off dairy farms in Vic­to­ria, Aus­tralia, where it is turned into in­stant full cream milk pow­der at Fon­terra’s Cob­den site.

Fon­terra’s lat­est distri­bu­tion deal is part of its push to mar­ket milk pow­der in South­east Asia.

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