Freedom Foods Group to build new UHT factory, target China

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Freedom Foods Group has announced that it will build a UHT milk processing plant in south-east Australia.

FFG announced that its business unit Pactum Australia would proceed with plans to build the plant, and the milk will be supplied for both domestic and export purposes.

The main aim of the factory is to process milk for export to the burgeoning South-east Asian market, particularly China, which has been briskly upping its consumption of dairy.

“With rising incomes and improving diets, these markets will continue to experience strong, long term demand for high quality safe dairy products originating from low cost production bases such as Australia,” FFG said in a statement.

The Asian Century has been of interest to dairy manufacturers, with Fonterra saying this year that it expects Chinese consumption of dairy to double by 2020.

According to figures reported in The Australian in October, dairy product sales to China were up 4.7 per cent in the last financial year. Chinese imports of cheese have also increased strongly in the last year.

The Pactum factory will initially manufacture 250 mL and one litre UHT packs, and will operate at a capacity of 100 million litres.