The distance between the green pastures of Australian dairy farms and the Middle East is about to get smaller with the opening of a Dubai office by Australia’s number one dairy company, Murray Goulburn Co-operative Co. Limited (MG), on Monday.
MG Managing Director Gary Helou said a presence in Dubai, in addition to existing offices in Tokyo, Ho Chi Min City and Singapore, would enable the 100 per cent dairy farmer-owned co-operative to market its milk powders, butter and cheese to important customers and consumers in the region.
“The new office allows MG to forge strong relationships with local ingredient processors and food service customers.” He said the product range marketed in the Middle East would be boosted with the launch of a new range of consumer products later in the year.
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is the world’s second largest dairy import region, importing a combined 1.2 million tonnes of dairy produce valued at A$3.8 billion.
Helou said the demand for dairy products was growing significantly in the MENA region, as in many other parts of Asia and that companies with access to on-farm supply were in a stronger position to service the future market growth.
“The Australian dairy industry is extremely well positioned to help meet increasing Middle Eastern demand for dairy products and contribute to food security in the region. MG, which processes one-third of Australian milk, will have a key role to play,” Helou said.
“Exports of Victorian dairy products to MENA were worth A$285 million in 2011/12, but with Australian dairy accounting for less than 10 per cent share of this crucial market, MG believes there is significant untapped potential for future export growth.”
He said Australia’s reputation for being clean and green set the nation’s dairy products apart. “Our dairy farmer suppliers graze their dairy cattle on pasture-based production systems and are vertically integrated with MG’s processing and marketing business. This means that MG can offer its customers full traceability to support our exemplary record for food safety.”
Announcing the opening at Dubai’s Gulfood, the world’s largest food and hospitality show, Victorian Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh said the establishment of the new MG office reflected major opportunities for growth in exports of Victorian dairy products to the region.
“MG is the largest dairy exporter from Australia and one of the largest container exporters from the Port of Melbourne, generating export revenue of $1.2 billion in 2011/12,” Walsh said.
“The company recognises substantial opportunities for export growth in MENA and the establishment of a strategic business unit at its Dubai office will help drive its expanded presence in this rapidly developing market.”
Helou and Minister Walsh are in Dubai as part of the Victorian Coalition Government’s Super Trade Mission to the Middle East
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