A shipment of 1,872 one-litre bottles of SADA Fresh milk - processed and packaged under license by Parmalat - was loaded onto a plane in Adelaide yesterday and arrived in Nanjing via Hong Kong today.
Next, the SADA Fresh shipment will be distributed by the Chinese importer.
SADA understands that half the consignment will be distributed as part of a promotion to launch the brand in China, where litre bottles of Australian fresh milk have reportedly sold for as much as AU$12.00 (US$9.35, €8.70).
The Chinese SADA Fresh imported has committed to purchasing a shipment of around 3,960 one-litre bottles per week for the next three months.
This figure, depending on market response, will double, said David Basham, president, SADA.
"Using the milk brand to draw investment to South Australia and open up markets for our dairy products were always primary goals of the enterprise, so this is a very exciting day for us," said Basham.
"Even though the initial shipment is relatively small, we hope this breakthrough will open doors for other South Australian dairy brands and lead to greater actual sales," he said.
"...far from a straight forward process"
SADA, which represents the interests of dairy farmers in South Australia, launched the SADA Fresh brand Down under in October 2013.
Sourced from South Australia, the milk is processed and packaged under a separate licence by Parmalat and sold in two-litre bottles in Coles supermarkets across the state.
Under their initial agreement, Parmalat pays SADA AU$0.20 for each litre of milk sold in Coles.
SADA will receive AU$0.05 per litre of SADA Fresh sold in China.
All proceeds from the sale of SADA Fresh milk are paid into the South Australia Dairy Industry Fund, which was formed in October 2014 to finance projects that directly benefit the state's dairy industry.
This week's consignment follows a series of small-scale trial shipments over the past two months, and around six months of planning an negotiation.
"It's been far from a straight forward process that has also involved developing a new label, not just to incorporate Chinese characters, but to feature blue rather than the bran's usual red or yellow, to meet a request from the importer," said Basham.