OIO approves Yashili milk plant

02/04/2013

The Overseas Investment Office has approved an application by Yashili International Holdings to build a milk processing plant in Pokeno.

The company has three years to build the plant before its consent lapses, which will also impose “certain ongoing reporting responsibilities on Yashili New Zealand”, chairman Zhang Lidian says in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Yashili NZ is still waiting for land use and resources consents and is holding a tender for the dryer component of the facility, he says.

Yashili flagged the New Zealand investment in January after the Chaozhou City, Guangdong-based company’s board signed off on a project to set up a local manufacturing facility to process up to 52,000 tons of finished and semi-finished products, including base milk powder by the second half of next year.

The company says it will spend 950 million yuan on acquiring land and building the plant, and a further 150 million yuan as working capital for a New Zealand subsidiary.

Yashili already sources milk powder from New Zealand, which it uses to market its own product with slogans such as “Genuine New Zealand, Love from Yashili” and “100% imported from New Zealand’s milk source”. . .

I don’t have a problem with foreign investment in general.

Any New Zealand companies which have tried to establish new milk plants in the last few years have needed foreign capital.

As a result of that investment new jobs have been created, export income has been earned, other New Zealand goods and services will have been bought and, if the companies have made profits, they’ll have paid tax.

However, there is a risk with foreign-owned businesses which trade on our well-deserved reputation for the quality and safety of our food.

Any company manufacturing and selling New Zealand produce must meet our standards all the way from the paddock to the retailer.


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