AFI, the ingredients arm of European dairy cooperative Arla Foods, announced yesterday it would begin sales of lactose through GDT on April 15.
Earlier today, Fonterra-owned GDT confirmed AFI is now a registered seller.
AFI joins a growing list of sellers on the GDT platform, which currently includes Amul, DairyAmerica, Euroserum, Fonterra, Land O'Lakes, Murray Goulburn, Molkerei Ammerland, and Arla Foods, which offers skimmed milk powder (SMP) and butter milk powder (BMP).
More than 900,000 tonnes of dairy ingredients are, according to AFI, sold through the auction platform each year.
Limited volumes of lactose are, however, currently available, with Australia dairy cooperative, Murray Goulburn, the only registered seller offering the ingredient.
“GDT attracts more than 650 qualified buyers from more than 90 countries, and yet at present hey have very little access to lactose through the platform," said Luis Cubel, permeate and lactose sales director, AFI.
"We can fill this gap in the market by offering our high quality lactose through GDT, which will boost our efforts to become market leader in the global lactose ingredients sector.”
“Arla Foods, our parent company, already trades skimmed milk powder on GDT so we know how effective it can be in terms of reaching existing and new customers. Our move into lactose will enhance our position in the market.”
AFI expects to produce around 115,000 tonnes of lactose in 2015.
Operations began at a newly constructed DKK 900m lactose plant in Jutland, Denmark in November 2014.
Prior to its Jutland investment, which AFI said was driven by demand for lactose as an infant formula ingredient, the company produced around 35,000 tonnes.
Now, thanks to its Danish lactose expansion and a joint venture with German dairy DMK, AFI expects to more than treble this figure in 2015.
GDT believes the addition of AFI lactose volumes will enable it to soon set the "benchmark price" for the ingredient.
"AFI's offering of lactose on GDT reflects an increasing trend for European producers to seek export out of Europe, and to extend their reach to the global market, as they expand production," said Paul Grave, director, GDT.
"The quality of AFI's lactose will deepen liquidity of the product group and the auction will set the market-based benchmark price for lactose. We are confident in the global demand for lactose, and expect a high level of interest from across our network of over 650 registered buyers," Grave added.