11/03/2009 - 22:00

Delhi stocks all your Aussie dairy requirements

11/03/2009 - 22:00

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INDIA'S dairy market has opened its doors to Australian milk products for the first time since trade was halted in 2003.

INDIA'S dairy market has opened its doors to Australian milk products for the first time since trade was halted in 2003.

In late February, the Indian government announced its approval of a new system for the health certification of Australian dairy products exported to India.

The certificate, which was developed by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, was based on Australia's existing food safety and animal health systems (including the voluntary industry ban on the use of oestrogen).

This certification will be available for exporters from March 23, allowing Australian dairy products to be imported into India for human consumption.

In 2003, Australian dairy exports to India were worth around $6 million a year, including milk powder concentrate and lactose, which is expected to grow once trade recommences.

Cheese, currently worth about $4 million and growing at 100 per cent a year, and other products are expected to be sought by industry in the sub-continent, while dairy desserts such as ice cream will be another key dairy product of high-value.

Several Australian exporters have expressed interest in exporting dairy products for human consumption to India.

Federal Trade Minister Simon Crean said the reopening of trade showed the growing agricultural relationship between Australia and India and the benefits of ongoing cooperation on bilateral trade issues.

"India's changing demographics -- particularly its growing middle class and urbanisation -- is creating real potential for the trade growth and Australia is well placed to provide high-value dairy products," Mr Crean said.

This follows the signing of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand free trade agreement last week that will deliver better access for Australian dairy farmers to the lucrative South-East Asian market.

 

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