‘Demand for milk in India is fast outgrowing supply’


Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd is a New Zealand-based multinational dairy co-operative owned by almost 10,500 farmers of the scenic country. The company churns revenue exceeding NZ$19.87 billion. Early next year, Fonterra is set to open its office in Delhi. It will be Fonterra's first operating office in the country with India-based staff. At the helm of all this is Hamish Gowans, the General Manager for Fonterra in India. In an interview with Shruti Srivastava, Gowan says Fonterra is here to better understand the Indian dairy market and add value to it. Excerpts:

What made Fonterra choose India, and what is the strategy of the company here?

India is on track to become one of the largest dairy industries in the world. With 20 million more mouths to feed every year, and an increasingly affluent population, the demand for high quality dairy nutrition continues to grow at a rapid pace. Annual dairy consumption, for example, is forecast to reach around 180-200 million tonnes by the end of the decade.

We understand there is huge potential for growth and we want to be on the ground understanding how we can help meet some of this demand and bring Fonterra's high quality dairy nutrition to the local population. In 2013, we will be primarily focused on learning as much as we can about the industry and meeting as many local companies as possible, to understand where we can add further value to this industry.

Although New Zealand only produces 2 per cent of the world's milk and India is one of the largest producers and consumers of dairy in the world, we do have a lot of similarities. Both of our dairy industries are important to the national economy and built on generations of family dairy farming. We see a great opportunity to build on common values and develop long-term strategic partnerships.

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