SHUANGCHENG, China (PRNewswire) — Nestle (Euronext: NESTS) today held the groundbreaking ceremony for the Dairy Farming Institute, which will support the sustainable development and the accelerated modernization of the dairy industry in China. The groundbreaking follows an announcement Nestle made in January, in which the company committed to transform Shuangcheng, one of its largest fresh milk supply bases in China, into the country's benchmark for dairy farming and management best practices.
The January 11 th Memorandum of Understanding between Shuangcheng Municipal Government and Nestle engages the parties to jointly develop modern dairy farming practices. Under the agreement, a total of RMB 2.5 billion will be invested between all parties in the milk district over the next five years through a partnership between Nestle, the local government, investors and farmers. The Dairy Farming Institute is an important next step to put the MOU into practice and will focus on training dairy farmers and technicians. The first construction phase of the institute will be completed by the end of 2012.
Training open to the whole dairy farming industry
The Dairy Farming Institute occupies 600,000 square meters and is supported by three different types of training farms, including one cow base with 1,520 cows, which provides practical guidance for farmers working alone or on small farms to relocate to a professionally managed farm; one large farm with 1,200 cows and one mega farm with 8,000 cows to help those who own larger farms scale up their facilities and use more modern practices.
The Institute demonstrates how modernized and professionally managed farms can improve efficiency in productivity. At the same time, it marks a new reference for an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable farming model, which will lead the direction of future dairy farming development.
The professional training will benefit the whole industry and eventually be open to all dairy industry members. It is a top-class training school for transferring know-how to many dairy professionals from Shuangcheng and all over the country.
Cooperate with first-rate partners
The Dairy Farming Institute is a platform for dairy business partners that will bring together experts in feed, genetics and other fields from around the world. It will offer dairy practitioners world-class training on dairy cow feeding and management. For example, the program will educate farmers on improving milk quality and output and raising healthier cows through the feed they are given. It will introduce farmers to world-class dairy breeds and the most advanced technologies. Farmers will also learn about medicating their herds, and will be offered specialized veterinary support when required. Over 700 attendees will be given professional training courses per year.
In a vote of confidence in the Dairy Farming Institute, cooperation agreements were signed between Nestle and some industry leaders including Land O' Lakes, Alta and East Rock Limited. All these partners are already well-established in China.
Confirming long-term commitment to China
"In line with the government's 12th five-year plan for animal husbandry, the Dairy Farming Institute groundbreaking is a very important step for Nestle to promote the modernization of the dairy industry in Shuangcheng and beyond. It also underscores Nestle's commitment to growing our dairy business in China in a long-term and sustainable way," said Mr. Heiko Schipper, Managing Director of Nestle Food & Beverage Division, GCR. "The emphasis will be on training the farmers, so that they are prepared to modernize their farms and deliver high quality milk in an efficient and environmentally responsible way. It all starts with the skills of the farmer and that is our first priority. Nestle has a long partnership with China and from the start, and has worked diligently to develop the local dairy industry. We look forward to sharing our experiences, resources, technology and facilities with the dairy industry."
Nestle has been investing in Shuangcheng to develop its milk district since 1987, three years before the Nestle Shuangcheng dairy factory became operational. Since then, Nestle has promoted scale and modern dairy farming through free training and technical assistance. More than 7,000 farmers were trained in 2011 alone.