The new joint-venture will pool Campina's operations in the segment with that of Thai Advanced Food's, the company said on Friday. The deal marks a shift in Campina's strategy in Thailand toward a focus on supplying the increasing demand for healthier and added-value dairy products. As milk stocks continue to dwindle globally, processors are coming under increasing pressure to add-value to such high margin products. The agreement came into affect on 2 July and will replace the group's previous partnership with Thai Dairy Industries. The company said that to meet consumer demand it had decided to combine its own expertise in research and development with Thai Advanced Food's expertise of sales and marketing in the country. Thai Advanced Food already has experience with selling within the country through its Betagen brand of goods. The joint-venture will employ 600 staff and boasts a combined turnover of €60m. "For Campina this joint venture fits very well in its strategic ambition to expand its international business in the area of healthy products, particularly via yoghurts and drinks," the company stated. The strategy appears to be in line with changing demand amongst Asian consumers for fresh and healthier dairy goods, according to findings last year by the Kasikorn Research Center. Niche categories like the ready-to-drink yoghurt were expected to drive growth in Thailand's yoghurt sector by 15-20 per cent per year, the group said. It added that other specialty products including high-calcium milk are also expected to grow in popularity. Campina has not been the only multinational to heed the potential of Fresh dairy goods in the country though. In January this year, Campina's competitor Danone announced it was forming a strategic alliance with Thai group Dutch Mill Co. to distribute and manufacture a range of fresh dairy products like yoghurt within the burgeoning markets of Thailand.