Media Release

Fresh Aussie dairy hits shelves in China

22 May 2014

Dairy producers throughout New South Wales and Queensland are set to benefit significantly from a new trade deal that has seen the first consignment of exported fresh milk pass through quarantine in China and an additional 20 million litres expected to be exported over the next year.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the new trade deal demonstrated a great industry-led initiative by NSW dairy processor cooperative Norco and dairy Connect NSW to develop the market and showed that Australia is open for business.

"Over the next year alone, Norco is expecting to export the equivalent of 10 Olympic-sized swimming pools of fresh milk to China, demonstrating the increasing international demand for Australia’s high quality dairy produce," Minister Joyce said.

"With potential retail prices in China of $7 to $9 per litre of milk, this government strongly supports industry initiatives like this as they help our valuable agriculture sector improve international competitiveness, which also contributes significantly to better returns for producers at the farmgate.

"We are hopeful that this is the first of many new opportunities for Australia’s fresh milk products to gain access to the expanding Chinese market and I commend Norco for their great work in seeing this through."

China is currently Australia’s 2nd largest market for mostly long life milk, accounting for 20 per cent of Australia's total milk and cream exports. Dairy is one of Australia's top five agricultural export earning commodities, making a massive contribution to our $38 billion of agricultural exports with about 40 per cent of our total milk production being exported in the form of dairy products.

"Australia produces some of the highest quality milk in the world and it’s become all too clear that growing demand from markets like China provide new and exciting opportunities for Australian agriculture," Minister Joyce said.

"This government remains committed to our election promises to enhance agricultural exports and increase trade market access, as a vital factor in ensuring the sustainability and prosperity of our agricultural sector."

Images of Australian product on supermarket shelves in China is available on request.