AustAsia aims to double its exports to Malaysia by next year; (Inset) AustAsia Food Pte Ltd head of marketing Sally Lum says the group’s annual milk output is expected to increase by more than twofold in the next two years.

WITH the growing thirst for milk spilling over into Malaysia, AustAsia Dairy Group, the milk producer backed by Indonesian entrepreneur Handojo Santosa, aims to double exports of its Greenfields Milk to the country by next year.

AustAsia Food Pte Ltd head of marketing Sally Lum said Greenfields Milk sales in Malaysia is about one million litres, which is worth about RM8 million.

Four of its products in the Malaysian market now are fresh milk, choco malt, whipping cream and mozzarella cheese.

According to a report by Rabobank, Malaysia recorded the highest dairy consumption rate per person in Asean, at 51 litres per annum.

The increase represents an annual growth of four per cent, Rabobank said.

“The ‘white gold’ rush is on. Malaysia’s growing appetite for dairy products is expected to benefit Greenfields Milk,” Lum said, adding that its close proximity to the growth markets in Southeast Asia means that Greenfields products can be shipped faster.

“It takes only two to three days for supplies to reach Malaysian shores and another one to two days to hit supermarket shelves,

“This is faster than the competing brands from Australia and New Zealand, which often need to be pasteurised again upon reaching Malaysia as bacteria counts increase when the milk is being transported,” she said during a recent media familiarisation visit to the group’s integrated dairy farm facility in Gunung Kawi, near Malang in East Java, Indonesia.

The farm houses over 6,000 Holstein cows, which produce more than 27 million litres of milk a year to feed the growing demand in Southeast Asia.

Lum said the group recently invested some US$4.2 million (RM13.2 million) to add another 1,200 heifers to the farm.

This is expected to more than double the group’s annual milk production within the next two years.

“The first batch of 600 cows has arrived from Melbourne, Australia, and the second batch is expected to arrive this month,” she said.

Lum said a second farm located at the same altitude in the south-west of Gunung Kawi is also being set up.

Slated to be completed by the fourth quarter of next year, the farm, which sits on a 180ha site, will have a holding capacity for 8,000 cows.

AustAsia’s Greenfields Milk is sold in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

The group also exports cheese, soya products, spreadable fats and yogurt.

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