Is Fonterra's downfall Australia's opportunity?

Cattle are milked at Big River Dairy. Photo JoJo Newby / The Daily Examiner
Cattle are milked at Big River Dairy. Photo JoJo Newby / The Daily Examiner Jojo Newby

AUSTRALIA'S top dairy farmer says the federal government should capitalise on New Zealand's milk contamination scandal by finally signing a free trade agreement with China.

Beijing has banned products from the world's biggest dairy exporter and New Zealand's main milk processor, Fonterra, after it was discovered earlier this month that some of the company's products contained bacteria that could cause botulism.

Australian Dairy Farmers president Noel Campbell said no Australian products have been affected and the government should accelerate its FTA negotiations with China, which have been running for more than eight years.

''It is a real opportunity for us because … close to 50 per cent of the dairy products that go into China are from New Zealand, whereas we've only got about 5 per cent, so we have got 10 per cent of what they send in,'' he said.

Mr Campbell said New Zealand's advantage over Australia was predicted to grow.


Topics:  china dairy farmers dairy industry exports fonterra trade

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