New Zealand named as "most important" dairy partner for China

New Zealand has been described as China’s “most important” dairy partner at the China-NZ Dairy Forum held recently in Nanjing.

Gao Hongbin, the Chairman of the Dairy Association of China (DAC), singled out New Zealand while recognising the role international companies play in the domestic industry.

“New Zealand is China’s most important overseas dairy partner and this partnership will keep strengthening,” he told the annual forum, co-hosted by Fonterra to promote the exchange of ideas between the two countries.

The event, now in its fourth year, is organised by Fonterra, in partnership with the National Dairy Industry and Technology System – a key think-tank for the Ministry of Agriculture in China.

More than 200 delegates attended this year’s forum to hear speakers from the leadership of the DAC, the Ministry of Primary Industries, Fonterra, AgResearch, DairyNZ and China’s biosecurity authority AQSIQ.

Sharing knowledge on effluent management systems, an important part of delivering sustainable dairy systems, was a key theme this year.

“The tone this year was very positive, with key leaders recognising the important role that international companies play in supporting China’s dairy industry and meeting the strong demand for dairy,” said Min Qin, Vice President of External Affairs and Communications for Fonterra Greater China.

Hans Berghorst, Vice President for Farms and Manufacturing said the two-country forum was an example of the China-New Zealand relationship at its best.

“As an industry leader here in China, it’s vital that we play a significant role in the development of the local dairy industry,” said Hans. “There is a great deal that our two dairy industries can learn from each other and by sharing ideas we create mutual benefits.”