Dairy industry’s export growth potential

SOUTH-WEST dairy farmers could share in a greater slice of the world market through a new Dubai base opened by producer Murray Goulburn.

The co-operative, which is already Australia’s largest dairy exporter, said the Middle East and North African (MENA) region was forecast to grow significantly.

“Exports of Victorian dairy products to the MENA region were worth $285 million in 2011-12, but with Australian dairy accounting for less than 10 per cent of this crucial market, Murray Goulburn believes there is significant untapped potential for future export growth,” company managing director Gary Helou said.

Victoria’s Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh yesterday officially opened the new Dubai office,  which will house a strategic business unit of the company.

“The Middle East and North Africa is the world’s second largest dairy import region, which imports a combined 1.2 million tonnes of dairy product valued at $3.8 billion,” Mr Walsh said. Murray Goulburn has hundreds of its farmer suppliers across south-west Victoria and south-east South Australia.

Last year the company announced it would install high-tech equipment at its Koroit  factory to boost butter production capacity to 20,000 tonnes a year.

Koroit is the company’s biggest milk throughput site and was expected to handle close to a billion litres last year.

Mr Walsh is in the Middle East with the state government’s  super trade mission, which features 75 Victorian food and agribusiness companies including Murray Goulburn.

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