Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Chinese buying dairy farms

Residents of Kernot in South Gippsland are concerned at the scale of dairy farm acquisions by Chinese interests. A public meeting has been called for Thursdsay night over plans for a major lot feeding dairy operation being set up and a bottling plant built to send 100,000 litres of milk per day to China.


Dairy investment in Australia was the focus of a $3 billion Chinese agricultural fund, announced last September.

Australia's Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb revealed the deal.

Called the Beijing Australia Agricultural Resource Cooperative Development Fund it is jointly initiated by the Beijing Agricultural Investment Fund and Yuhu Agriculture Investment Pty Ltd.

Whole milk isn't the only target, the fund is also focussing on investing in dried milk, beef, lamb, seafood and other agriculture products.

The fund will supply Australian agriculture products and services to the people of China.

Beijing Agricultural Investment Fund was founded in September 2009 and was the first professional investment fund in the agricultural industry in China.

It was initiated by state-owned Beijing Capital Group.

It owns and manages 25,000 premium cattle in five farms around China and supplies milk to the leading Chinese dairy manufacturing and distribution companies

Ningbo Dairy, which runs 20,000 cows on 30 farms in China’s coastal Zhejiang province, south of Shanghai, has already spent more than $15 million buying and improving three farms in South Gippsland. It has further well-advanced plans — and cash — to buy more farms in Gippsland and northern NSW, to increase its herd from 550 to 2500 cows and to build its own $6 million fresh milk processing plant on its 280ha Glenview Farm at Kernot. Bass Coast Shire Council is believed to approved the planning application.