Earlier this week, Nestlé began construction on its new Dairy Farming Institute in Shuangcheng, China. DairyReporter.com spoke to Nestlé China’s Jonathan Dong about the firm’s efforts to educate Chinese dairy farmers....
1. Why did Nestlé decide to open a dairy farming institute in this region of China?
“Shuangcheng is Nestlé’s first and largest milk districts in China (there are three in total, the other two in Laixi of Shandong and Hulunbeir of Inner Mongolia). The Dairy Farming Institute (DFI) builds on 25 years of working together with local farmers and government in developing Shuangcheng from an unknown into one of the country’s ‘largest cow counties.”
2. What exactly will Nestlé gain from investing in this facility?
“Shuangcheng is transforming itself from the traditional, household-based dairy farming into scale and standardised dairy farming. As the pioneer in developing Shuangcheng’s dairy industry, Nestlé has a responsibility to support and accelerate this process by sharing our expertise. Nestlé and Shuangcheng have a shared goal to develop sustainable dairy farming, which in turn will produce better quality milk at higher yield.”
3. How will the institute help to boost milk production?
“The DFI will enhance both milk quality and yield.”
4. When is the facility expected to open? How much is the construction likely to cost?
“The facility is expected to open in the next six to nine months. Shuangcheng has a very short construction period, so work progress is somehow at the mercy of Mother Nature. The DFI consists of a training building and three training farms of different sizes. It will cost about RMB200 million.”
5. Will the institute improve the quality of milk from this region?
“Absolutely, it will help enhance both milk quality and coq yield. China has its national standards for dairy products. These standards are quite similar to international ones.”
6. What is milk from farmers in this region used for?
“Nestlé has a dairy factory in Shuangcheng. It is our first factory in China and produces milk powders. Most farmers sell their milk to our factory.”
7. Are there plans for any more learning facilities of this kind in China?
“Although this DFI is located in Shuangcheng, it is open to the whole industry in China.”