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New Zealand Working with Sri Lanka to Ensure Confidence in Dairy

05 September 2013

NEW ZEALAND - The New Zealand and Sri Lankan governments are to work towards a Dairy Sector Cooperation Agreement following the recent botulism debacle.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully and Fonterra Chairman John Wilson met Sri Lankan Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa to discuss progress in resolving the difficulties and future opportunities to expand cooperation in the dairy sector.

Mr McCully said, “The Minister and I agreed that our governments will work toward a Dairy Sector Cooperation Agreement, which we hope to see signed a little later this year.

“This will set out the ways both governments can support the growth of Sri Lanka’s dairy sector, and thereby assist in creating a more certain environment in which Fonterra can make a broader contribution to the sector’s development.”

Mr McCully concluded, “There is still considerable work to do to create greater certainty for our dairy trade in Sri Lanka. I believe we have established with the Sri Lankan Government a more positive basis for taking the relationship forward.”

The Dairy Chairperson for Federated Farmers, Will Leferink comments on the news. “The Dairy Sector Cooperation Agreement will ensure healthy and sustainable growth both domestically and internationally. It is a trade-off of our world-class expertise for market assurance.“

Mr Leferink adds, “If we can help these guys in setting up their dairy supply chain with a happy customer at the bottom, it will be hugely beneficial for both countries, as we can fill the shortfalls and keep building the consumer base.

“Whilst Sri Lanka can rely on Fonterra to ensure they are building their product off a decent platform domestically, Fonterra can ensure the quality of the product meets consumer’s expectations. This will provide a basis of trust in high quality products, which will gain even more consumers across the globe.

“We need to keep building the supply chain and the consumer base,” concludes Mr Leferink.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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