Chinese chase milk


Chinese chase milk

MILK from a $6 million factory proposed for Kernot will be sold at up to $8 a litre in China – more than eight times the price of drinking milk in Australia.

But despite the premium price, only farmers in Kernot stand to benefit from the possibility of higher milk prices if Bass Coast Shire Council approves the factory.

The bottling plant, cool room and feed pad will create up to seven jobs once the factory is operational, with construction to start later this year at the earliest.

Australian YoYou Dairy is behind the project .That company is largely owned by the Chinese Ningbo Dairy Group. YoYou has owned the 500-cow dairy farm at 1010 Loch-Kernot Road, on which the factory is proposed to be built.

Bottled milk will be flown to China several times a week and also sold on the Australian market.

Jon McNaught of GHD consulting firm, based in Morwell, is overseeing a planning permit application now before council.

He said milk would initially be sourced from the Kernot farm and farms believed to be owned by Australian YoYou Dairy at Tenby Point.

“The milk will sell for between $6 and $8 a litre in China. Those who can afford it will pay for it because they are confident in the brand and that it is not contaminated,” he said.

Mr McNaught said demand for dairy products in China was increasing due to rising affluence in the country and loss of confidence in the health of milk produced in China.

Council will hold a community information session on Thursday, February 12 at 6pm at the Kernot Community Hall.

Mr McNaught sought to allay Kernot residents’ concerns about the factory, saying it would be small by industry standards.

“Initially the factory will produce 10,000 litres a day and that will grow up to 30,000 litres a day once the market builds,” he said.

“They are definitely not another Murray Goulburn or Burra Foods. It’s chalk and cheese really. Murray Goulburn is dealing with millions of litres a day,” he said.

“It’s definitely not planned they will be the next Burra Foods.”

Mr McNaught said no Chinese staff would be employed, saying that was against immigration rules.

“Their intention is to employ locals as they have employed four people on the farm at the moment,” he said.

Between six and seven people will work at the bottling plant during a day shift, and up six trucks could access the site daily, creating work for truck drivers. Milk would be trucked to Tullamarine Airport and flown directly to China.

Mr McNaught said council did not require the company to advertise the application for a planning permit as council did not consider the project was big enough.

He said neighbours were notified by letter.

Council is continuing to accept submissions regarding the permit application for the milk processing factory.

Council CEO Paul Buckley said, “Council will consider the application around mid to late-April, so we will continue to accept submissions up until the end of March to enable them to be included in the final report.”

Mr Buckley said the public information session would provide information about the proposal.

“We will also discuss the process people can follow in order to make a submission and the process council must follow in considering the permit application,” he said.

Taking shape: Bass Coast Shire Council will hold a public meeting about a proposed milk factory at Kernot this Thursday night.

Taking shape: Bass Coast Shire Council will hold a public meeting about a proposed milk factory at Kernot this Thursday night.

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Posted by on Feb 6 2015. Filed under Business, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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