Monday, October 22, 2018
 Asian Baby Formula Market Opens Up To Australian Dairy Farmers  

Darling Downs dairy farmers will soon have a new, direct link to the lucrative Asian baby formula market through a new dairy facility. Nature One Dairy is setting up a new facility in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, adjacent to the Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport.  And the people behind the facility have promised battling dairy farmers a better deal for their product.


Work will soon start on the $35 million Toowoomba Integrated Milk Project, a joint venture between Au Lait Australia and Nature One Dairy, at the 550-hectare Wellcamp Business Park.

The facility will manufacture up to 30 million tons of baby formula every year, along with fresh milk, UHT milk and other dairy products. 

Au Lait Australia spokesman Steve Laracy said the TIMP would be a “game changer” for Queensland dairy farmers. Mr. Laracy said Darling Downs farmers would provide Nature One Dairy with about 300 kiloliters every day. “They’re getting a much better deal out of this. What we’re talking about is in excess of 60 cents a liter that we’d be offering farmers,” he said.

“In Queensland, we’re generally in the 50-60 cents range and down south they’re in the late 30s to low 40s and they’re just unsustainable prices, really.”

Mr. Laracy said, long-term, Nature One Dairy also hoped to set up an American-style free-stall dairy barn, but not until a feasibility study set to be completed in early 2017.

The farm and the Wellcamp-based TIMP were expected to employ about 100 people each, Mr. Laracy said.

Central to its prospects was the Chinese baby formula market. That market has been so lucrative that Chinese travelers had bought baby formula in bulk at Australian supermarkets, leading to purchase limits having to be introduced at some shops.

“A lot of what the Chinese folks have been doing is formula-focused and that’s probably about 50 percent of what we’re looking at,” Mr. Laracy said. “The fresh milk and UHT side of it, particularly fresh, is where we’re focused as well.”

Mr. Laracy said discussions had already been held with Cathay Pacific, which had its maiden Toowoomba service last November, about exporting TIMP’s products to Asia.

“What would be likely to occur would be a charter-type arrangement, because the volumes we’re talking about would be, hopefully, a couple of flights a day,” he said.

“One of the beauties of Wellcamp is, if it’s fresh milk, it can go to market straight away.

“If we’re producing 200 kiloliters a day of fresh milk into Asia or southern China, you’d be getting 100,000 liters – about 100 tons – on to a cargo plane.

“It varies between 80 and 120, depending on whether it’s a jumbo or a (Boeing) 777.”

Guangzhou and Hong Kong would be likely destinations for Nature One Dairy’s products.

“Because it’s chartered, they’re not scheduled flights so, as markets are finalized and identified, we can shift the destination,” Mr. Laracy said.

Milk would be packaged in bottles or satchels prior to departure, Mr. Laracy said.

“Because of the location of Wellcamp, we may not even need a cold store on location at the airport terminal itself,” he said.

“We can take it down from our site, which is quite literally no more than a 900 meter drive from our site to the runway.”

Wellcamp Airport and business park developer John Wagner said the TIMP would help establish his family’s privately owned airport as a specialist air and road freight hub.

“It is extremely important the state government works with us to get direct access to the second range crossing from Wellcamp Airport and the Wellcamp Business Park so more world class industries are attracted to Queensland,” he said.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald



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