It is an alliance between Fonterra and China’s National Dairy Industry and Technology System. Maree Wilson, spokeswoman, Fonterra, told DairyReporter.com this week’s agreement marks the start of the collaboration for the virtual centre.
“The farming systems in New Zealand and China are very different but there is a lot that can be shared in areas such as animal husbandry, animal nutrition, environmental practices, milk quality, testing regimes and quality systems,” she said.
“Consumers are seeking safe, quality food and we believe that starts with a quality milk source.”
The centre will run programmes in policy development in China and New Zealand dairy sectors, academic exchanges, industry promotion, dairy technology research and personnel training.
Initiatives include an annual China-New Zealand dairy forum for researchers, joint studies on dairy industry policy and technology, and a ‘golden key’ training programme to assist China’s local dairy development.
“It is a key priority for Fonterra to contribute to the development of the Chinese dairy industry and we believe there is a lot to be gained by both New Zealand and China through the sharing of knowledge, research and dairy expertise,” said Kelvin Wickham, president, Fonterra Greater China and India.
Wang Yuchan, scientist, China Ministry of Agriculture National Dairy Industry and Technology System, said “We hope to leverage the centre as a platform to learn more about New Zealand's technology and expertise, jointly conduct research and development, and undertake technology exchanges and training on dairy sector issues.
“This will help us to promote the sustainable development of dairy in both New Zealand and China.”
China is New Zealand’s second-largest trading partner, and dairy products account for over a third of all its exports to China, according to New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.