Midfield Group, Australia, and Louis Dreyfus Co. (LDC) Dairy Asia Pte Ltd., a Netherlands-based wholly owned subsidiary of Louis Dreyfus Co. Asia, entered into a joint venture for the construction, development and management of a dairy processing plant and related commercial activities.

The new plant, currently under construction in Penola, South Australia, is expected to start operations in July 2017. When completed, it will have an annual processing capacity of 220 million liters of raw milk, producing dairy powders and fats for the domestic and international markets.

The joint venture combines Midfield’s expertise in dairy farming and processing operations with LDC’s experience in risk management and global merchandising of agricultural and dairy products.

“Collaboration and cooperation between The Midfield Group and Louis Dreyfus Co. Dairy Asia is something that all of us at Midfield are excited about,” says Colin McKenna, managing director and owner of The Midfield Group. “The decision we took to engage in this joint venture is certainly very strategic. We at Midfield are confident and accomplished in our manufacturing capabilities and have the added benefit of being milk producers too. Our new dairy processing company is expected to become knowledgeable of global dairy markets and their respective marketing environments very quickly. The joint venture partnership will therefore provide us with market intelligence and an immediate competitive presence in global markets, enabling us to add significant value and advantage to our Australian raw milk producers—our dairy farmers.”

“This joint venture is a key step in the development strategy of LDC’s dairy activities, in particular in the Oceania and Asia regions, and complements excellently our existing sourcing capabilities in other major production regions,” adds Jean-Marc Foucher, head, dairy platform, LDC. “The continuous demand for quality products, the recognition of Australian milk and dairy products around the globe, as well as efficient farming and processing operations provide a very positive outlook for all participants, from farmer to processor and exporter. The Penola plant will produce top-quality products and allow for expansion, as we are confident that a processing facility in South Australia will build the region’s dairying capacity. This will help us to serve our global clients more efficiently, while enhancing Australia’s agricultural sector as a whole.”