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Market in China for Scottish milk

SCOTTISH DAIRY produce could soon be winging its way to Chinese shop shelves for the first time.

This follows a meeting in Shanghai this morning between one of China's largest importers, Scottish dairy representatives visiting China, CabSec Richard Lochhead and Anne MacColl, Scottish Development International chief executive.

Good quality dairy produce such as UHT milk, cheese and butter are in extremely high demand in China. There is also a market for imported baby milk formula, which is another area Scottish companies are keen to explore further.

Commenting after the meeting Mr Lochhead said: "As this trade mission has shown, the Chinese market offers a massive and very exciting opportunity for Scotland's dairy sector. High quality cheese, butter and UHT milk is in high demand across the country and Scotland's strategy to focus on added value products means we are well placed to deliver.

"While it won't happen overnight, I hope that in the relatively near future these initial talks will lead to Scottish dairy produce appearing on shop shelves in China for the very first time. This is a very timely opportunity that will hopefully give a new lease of life to our dairy sector."

Graham's Dairies Managing Director Robert Graham said: "The demand in China for value-added milk products is simply enormous and the company we met today are very keen for Scottish producers to enter the market.

"Graham's are a family business and we have a reputation in the home market for producing high quality dairy goods, but until now we have never entered the export market. The meeting in China today was very positive and we are keen to explore the opportunities further."

Anne MacColl, chief executive of Scottish Development International said: "Scottish companies are already doing fantastically well in China with food and drink exports to China up 44% last year. Seafood, whisky and premium grocery items like shortbread and jams are all in high demand – but so far we have no dairy products being sold here.

"This week has been a high potential opportunity for our dairy companies to see first-hand the scale of the market and I have every confidence that we will see Scottish cheeses and milk products being sold in the Chinese market very soon."

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