Dairy Dialog podcast 96: Alibaba, Nature’s First, Elmhurst, Chr. Hansen

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Dairy Dialog podcast 96: Alibaba, Nature’s First, Elmhurst, Chr. Hansen
Dairy Dialog podcast 96: Alibaba, Nature’s First, Elmhurst, Chr. Hansen

Related tags Chr hansen Alibaba Alibaba.com Milk plant based Dairy alternatives Cheese Dairy

This episode of the Dairy Dialog podcast focuses on the Alibaba food & beverage trade show, which is taking place online this week. We spoke with Katerina Petraki, director of business development at Alibaba.com about the event, as well as two exhibitors, Harjit Singh, CEO of Nature’s First; and Hunter Jarvis, president of foodservice at Elmhurst.

And we also have an interview with Chr. Hansen’s senior commercial development manager, cheese, Anne Katrine Irgens, and Sten Holmgaard Sørensen, board member of Dairy Without Borders, about Chr. Hansen’s contribution to the organization.

We also have our weekly look at the global dairy markets with Liam Fenton from StoneX.

Alibaba trade shows

According to Alibaba research, trade shows have historically been the most important way for sellers to meet and acquire new customers, and business buyers have benefited by using them to explore new products and suppliers.

COVID-19 has drastically limited this critical channel for trade. In response, Alibaba.com launched Online Trade Shows USA, a series of category-specific, livestreaming experiences designed to convene buyers and sellers to meet and transact in real-time over a pre-determined period of days.

These events showcasing US-based manufacturers and wholesalers are part of Alibaba.com’s global online trade show initiative of more than 20 shows in 2020 days to bring the world’s SMBs together over virtual show floors.

The digital-first events feature keynotes from industry leaders as well as top US suppliers promoting their products to a select audience of verified business buyers. U.S.-based manufacturers and wholesalers are able to showcase their stories, capabilities and products as a way to promote their business, meet new prospects and drive sales during this transition to digital-first trade. Buyers who attend the events can interact and ask questions of the suppliers, schedule one-on-one sessions and place orders through the platform.

John Caplan, president of North America and Europe at Alibaba.com, said, “With the disruption of COVID-19, the next era in global trade starts today, from home and online.  The grit, resilience and needs of American small businesses who face extraordinary challenges right now have inspired and motivate us to re-imagine the trade show experience for our customers. Alibaba.com Online Trade Shows USA will showcase the innovative products and capabilities of US small businesses and connect them to our rapidly expanding community of more than 10m global buyers.”

The first live event in July was dedicated to supplements and nutrition. Alibaba.com hosted the event in partnership with the USA CBD Expo, the nation’s largest CBD industry event, and the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA).

The second show, taking place now, is on Food & Beverage. Upcoming shows focus on Agriculture, and Beauty & Personal Care.

The food & beverage event is taking place in partnership with FONA International, creator and producer of flavors for many of the largest food, beverage and nutritional companies, and Square, the payment and point of sale solutions company.

Chr. Hansen coagulant secures donation for Dairy Without Borders

Food ingredients company Chr. Hansen is donating €4,100 ($4,800) to the DK-based NGO Dairy Without Borders, a non-profit organization working to advance rural communities in selected developing countries through knowledge sharing, training and transfer of skills.

The organization establishes and supports economically and environmentally sustainable projects that contribute to lift small local milk producers to a higher level in terms of use, storage and possible sales of their dairy products.

For Chr. Hansen, Dairy Without Borders was an obvious choice for the donation they wished to make a year after the launch of the third generation CHY-MAX coagulant, CHY-MAX Supreme. Introduced globally last year, it enables up to 1% higher cheese yield and allows for processing more milk and cheese in less time.

Chr. Hansen said producers can profit from better slicing and grating of the cheese, with reduced giveaways and longer shelf life due to the reduced protein breakdown over time.

“We couldn’t be more satisfied with the reception CHY-MAX Supreme has received from the market​,” Anne Katrine Irgens, senior commercial development manager, cheese, Chr. Hansen, said. 

“Groundbreaking innovations in the coagulant space are rare but we, as world’s leading producer of coagulation solutions, are committed to constantly raising the industry standard for performance and understand the challenges of modern cheesemakers. To further accelerate the interest in our new product, we promised to donate an amount to Dairy Without Borders for each industrial trial that was entered into in the first year after the launch so that customers could see for themselves that the advantages of CHY-MAX Supreme that we claim in fact hold true.

“We wanted to make a splash about CHY-MAX Supreme. Given the strong sustainability profile of the product, which makes it possible to produce more cheese with the same amount of milk, we thought it would make good sense to direct our donation to an organization that actively assumes social responsibility through taking a stand against poverty and helping to stabilize food security in less privileged regions. We are confident that Dairy Without Borders will know how to best put the money to good use.”

Lars Dall Jensen, chairman of Dairy Without Borders, and manager of production technology and development at Arla Foods, said, “This is a very welcome donation and we are grateful for Chr. Hansen’s choice. Ultimately, we want to help small milk farmers get a better life, and the way we do this is by contributing with knowledge, so they can optimize their dairy production, achieve better prices and improve food safety for themselves and those who buy their products.

”When traveling round the world one realizes that it is in fact possible to help, even with relatively limited means. In Denmark we are fortunate that education is a prioritized element in society and, based on this, we can make a big difference in regions where even basic education is in short supply. I was in Kenya last fall in connection with a Government project on revision of the Kenyan food legislation, where lifting the quality of milk products is a focus area. One element concentrates on HACCP-control at the dairies and quality payment for the milk to the farmers, and here our members can really make a huge contribution by sharing their know-how.”

In Mongolia, the organization sent two young girls to dairy school, and only this summer they completed four years of dairy education. They can now actively take part in a local project sponsored by the association, among other things based on a previous donation by Chr. Hansen Denmark and its employees. Today the visible proof is a small dairy in the making and a newly-established cooperative association whose responsibility it is to sell dairy products based on milk from yaks to tourists in the area, thereby improving the standard of living.


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