Lucrative Chinese deal for Dale Farm
One of Northern Ireland's biggest dairy companies has signed a multi-million pound contract to sell a cheese by-product to China.
Dale Farm said the latest deal with a Shanghai customer for its whey protein brings its annual exports to China to £20m a year.
The contract follows a visit to the company's Dunmanbridge cheese and whey plant in Cookstown by trade agency Shanghai Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
David Dobbin, Dale Farm's Group chief executive, said there is huge potential for exports to the region.
"China continues to be one of the main drivers for growth in world dairy markets, and it is forecast that by 2020, the demand for milk based products will be almost double that of China's internal milk supply," he said. "For this reason, the Chinese market is a key target market in Dale Farm's strategy of developing international business.
The company said its Cookstown plant is one of the most advanced cheese and whey processing plants in the world, after a recent investment saw it double its production of cheddar cheese and whey protein powders.