Fonterra and MFAT partner to advance dairy in developing countries

Fonterra and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) have agreed to work together to help developing countries build viable dairy industries and increase dairy nutrition knowledge.

Under the partnership, called Framework for International Development in Dairy Excellence, Fonterra and MFAT will seek to develop initiatives to enhance food security, knowledge and nutrition in emerging markets with relatively underdeveloped dairy industries, and help build economically viable farm systems with a focus on food safety and quality.

“New Zealand and our dairy industry have an important, global role to play in promoting dairy as a source of good nutrition and helping developing economies meet local demand for dairy products,” said Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings.

Mr Spierings said Fonterra’s work under the Dairy Development framework will focus on markets where Fonterra is building a significant consumer presence and is seeking to strengthen the support it can provide local dairy farmers and communities.

“We’ve been dairy farming and processing for over a hundred years, and sharing that expertise with others ensures a strong reputation for dairy quality and safety globally. This is particularly important in developing economies where an increasing knowledge base and rising incomes sees more consumers turning to dairy products,” said Mr Spierings.

Activities undertaken by the partnership will include initiatives to raise on-farm milk safety and quality standards, increase farmer productivity and profitability, build cooperative governance, improve milk collection and transport, and educational nutrition programmes with local communities.

MFAT CEO John Allen said, “The goal of this Framework is to enhance food security, income and nutrition in targeted developing countries by promoting dairy industry development and food safety and quality.

“New Zealand is one of the best-performing agricultural nations in the world. That is why MFAT is seeking to use its expertise and innovation and that of Fonterra’s to bring about development solutions.

“We are pleased to be able to sign this Framework with Fonterra. It will allow MFAT to investigate potential future projects in areas like building the capability of farmers in developing countries, or enhancing co-operative models and business structures.”

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