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NZ’s Fonterra to help train Phl dairy farmers

Marianne V. Go (The Philippine Star) - May 18, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - New Zealand’s premier dairy cooperative firm, Fonterra, which distributes the well-known Anchor, Anlene and Anmum dairy products, has expressed willingness to help train Philippine dairy farmers under a $5.3-billion NZ government funded program.

This was revealed to The STAR  by Fonterra chief executive officer Theo Spierings who was in the country for the relaunch of the Anchor milk brand to reconnect and emphasize the “pureness and quality” of the New Zealand dairy product.

Spierings said he  met with Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala  to express Fonterra’s support for a New Zealand government-funded dairy cooperation program.

According to Spierings, “we expressed our support to help the Philippine dairy industry by offering to train select Filipino dairy farmers in New Zealand.”

Spierings noted that Philippine dairy production is a mere 20 million liters per year as compared to New Zealand’s 22 billion liters per year.

The Philippines imports most of its dairy requirements from New Zealand and is Fonterra’s third largest market in Asia next to China and Indonesia.

Fonterra’s sales to the Philippines, Spierings said, is around $35 million.

He said the company, sees flat growth this year but expects an increase in volume and value next year.

Spierings was impressed by the growth of the economy since his last visit to the Philippines in 2007.

“The Philippines is a lot better compared to a few years back. It has picked up tremendously and we want to be a part of the future,” he said.

Fonterra, through its Anchor brand wants to emphasize the pureness and quality of New Zealand’s dairy sector in light of growing global concern over tainted milk products, Spierings said.

Fonterra’s global sales, Spierings said is valued at NZ$20 billion with top global markets led by China and the United States.

Fonterra is basically the marketing and distribution arm of some 10, 500 dairy farmers operating and producing  as a cooperative.

Fonterra, Spierings said, has a lot to offer the Philippines in terms of  training Filipino dairy farmers improve local milk production and increase consumption.

Spierings noted that Filipino milk consumption is a mere 12 kilograms per person per year as compared to New Zealand’s milk consumption of  250 kilograms per person per year.

He also noted the need to improve Philippine milk production with Filipino dairy cows producing a low seven liters.

The training to be provided by Fonterra, Spierings said, would introduce Filipino dairy farmers to best practices on farm management, breeding, feeding, general sanitation and food safety.

Completion of the necessary documentation, Spierings said, would hopefully be completed in the next couple of months.

The Philippines and New Zealand had signed a dairy cooperation agreement in October 2012 with a funding of $5.3 billion over a five-year period.

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY PROCESO ALCALA ANLENE AND ANMUM CHINA AND INDONESIA CHINA AND THE UNITED STATES DAIRY FONTERRA NEW NEW ZEALAND SPIERINGS ZEALAND
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