Australian premium dairy heifers travel cattle class to Expo

Posted by Josette Dunn on 10th May 2010

Australian agribusiness Elders has exported more than 21,000 Australian dairy cattle to China over the past year, some of which have ensured milk supplies are ready to cater for the Shanghai World Expo’s 70 million anticipated visitors.

Austrade’s Shanghai-based Senior Trade Commissioner Christopher Wright said Elders’ success was an example of Australian business making an important contribution to the staging of the Shanghai World Expo, and highlighted the potential for Australia’s sophisticated agricultural producers in China.

“World Expo visitors and local Shanghainese will enjoy quality Australian-derived dairy products during one of the largest events ever staged in China,” Mr Wright said.

“The consumption of fresh dairy products has grown in urban areas of China by as much as 25 percent each year since the late nineties.

“With 70 percent of China predicted to be middle class by 2020, increasing demand for dairy is just one indicator that a wide range of new products will be sought after by increasingly affluent consumers.

“China is also seeking to attract Australian technologies and management expertise from developed dairy industries in areas such as livestock housing, animal comfort and welfare, waste management systems, and ventilation and cooling,” Mr Wright said.

Hamish Browning, Elder’s General Manager Meat and Livestock Trading said 2009 had been a breakthrough year for Australian dairy live exports in China.

“Australian dairy cattle can better adapt to China’s varying climate while still maintaining high production levels, positioning Australia as being highly competitive against other potential suppliers to this important market.

“When compared to North American dairy cattle, Australian varieties also have a smaller body mass, making them better suited to Chinese dairy systems.

“Our recent shipments to China have coincided with World Expo but we have been working with China’s dairy industry for some time to ensure sustainable dairy exports into the future.

“Many international visitors that will be attending the World Expo will be staying in hotels supplied by Australian produce including Elders Fine Food, which is based in Shanghai,” Mr Browning said.

Austrade is now supporting companies such as Elders with the first Australian agribusiness mission to western China. This study tour will focus on opportunities in the arid but agriculturally important region of Xinjiang. The group will take advantage of the Australian pavilion at Expo to highlight to a range of invited Chinese guests, Australian expertise relevant to China’s agricultural challenges.