Beston ramps up milk supply to support cheese expansion
This increase in supply will go alongside the 20m litres provided by its own farms, though it still leaves a shortfall of 20m litres before Beston can meet the 90m litres it requires to fulfil orders from growing markets like China.
Australian dairy product exports to the Far East have increased by nearly 30% over the past five years.
The Adelaide-based business is currently in the process of installing a state of the art mozzarella plant at it Jervois factory which will have an overall production capacity of 145,000 tonnes per year.
It has also commenced production of Parmesan, with batches being matured at a refurbished plant at Murray Bridge, also in South Australia. The cheese go to market next year.
"All of the dairies involved have been supplying other national dairy food groups and were looking for alternatives," said Beston’s chief executive, Sean Ebert.
"We are in talks with other dairies in major South Australian milk production areas and expect to reach the target in coming weeks.”
Despite China’s potential, Beston has warned that it will incur "an overall loss" for the current financial year, largely due to a lack of sales there.
In March, it agreed to supply dairy and seafood to China’s Hondo Food, though sales have so far been modest. Another deal, with Chinese retailer Dashang Group, has not been successful “for reasons that are internal to Dashing,” Beston admitted.
It is hopeful, however, that fortunes will change over the first half of the next financial year, especially after news emerged recently that Chinese seafood importer Shenzen Fresh Life would buy products from Beston.