Australian dairy Norco Cooperative has secured a deal with Chinese authorities that allows it to fast-track quarantine clearance for its fresh milk exports - slashing the time it takes to reach consumers in China to just seven days.
New South Wales-based Norco, supply chain representative Dairy Connect NSW, and export consultancy Peloris Global Sourcing (PGS) announced earlier this week that a trial shipment of around 1,000 litres of Norco fresh milk to China last month had been “successfully completed.”
The trial run saw Norco fresh milk reach Chinese consumers within seven days of leaving Australian dairy farms.
This was made possible by PGS who, in collaboration with Dairy Connect NSW and Norco, was able to secure an “unprecedented” quarantine clearance agreement with Chinese authorities “to bring the delivery time well within the shelf life of fresh Australian pasteurised milk.”
"Opens the door"
Until now, drawn-out testing and quarantine processes, before shipment from Australia and on arrival in China, had resulted in a typically export lead time for fresh milk of between 14 and 21 days.
This “did not fit within the normal shelf life for fresh Australian pasteurised milk,” said the companies.
“This opens the door for Norco to access the burgeoning demand from Chinese consumers for Australian fresh milk products," said Norco chairman, Greg McNamara.
McNamara added that this pipeline has the capacity to deliver more than 20m litres of fresh milk, at according to reports between AU$7 (US$6.50, €4.70) and AU$9 (US$8.30, €6) per litre, to Chinese consumers within the first 12 months of operations.
Norco plans to begin commercial shipments of fresh milk products in the coming weeks.
Quality assurance protocols
The agreed quarantine process was secured after 12 months of collaboration between PGS and Chinese officials to develop “rigorous quality assurance protocols that have now been fully tested and officially sanctioned by the relevant Chinese agencies.”
“The cold chain pipeline solution incorporates stringent quality assurance controls that ensure the fresh milk meets or exceeds China’s food health and safety standards, that the product is maintained at the optimal temperature at all times during transit, and incorporates an innovative product security system that identifies and tracks the location of individual units,” said Peter Verry, managing director of PGS.