Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Murray Goulburn pushes exports to Dubai

A new Murray Goulburn Co-operative office in Dubai could involve promotion of products manufactured in Cobram.

JESSICA GRIMBLE February 27, 2013 4:37am

Murray Goulburn's Cobram factory.

A new Murray Goulburn Co-operative office in Dubai could involve promotion of products manufactured in Cobram.

Victorian Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh announced the company’s expansion on Monday while in Dubai as part of a Victorian Government Super Trade Mission to the Middle East.

Mr Walsh said the new office could mean major opportunities for growth in exports of Victorian dairy products to the region.

A Murray Goulburn Co-operative spokesperson said the company would promote a range of products via its new office.

‘‘This will likely include products made at Cobram,’’ the spokesperson said.

‘‘MG aims to increase the volume and value off sales to the Middle East and consequently lift farm gate prices.’’

The spokesperson could not confirm if the expansion would affect business and operations at the Cobram plant.

Mr Walsh said the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) was the world’s second largest dairy import region, which imported a combined 1.2million tonnes of dairy product valued at $3.8billion.

‘‘Murray Goulburn is 100 per cent farmer-owned and is the largest dairy exporter from Australia. It is also one of the largest container exporters from the Port of Melbourne, generating export revenue of $1.2billion in 2011-12,’’ he said.

‘‘The company recognises substantial opportunities for export growth in the MENA region and the establishment of a strategic business unit in Dubai will help drive its expanded presence in this rapidly developing market.’’

Murray Goulburn Co-operative managing director Gary Helou said the MENA region represented an exciting opportunity for Australia’s largest dairy company.

‘‘Demand from MENA nations is forecast to grow significantly and the Australian dairy industry is extremely well positioned to play a key role in meeting that demand,’’ Mr Helou said.

‘‘Exports of Victorian dairy products to the MENA region were worth $285million in 2011-12, but with Australian dairy accounting for less than 10 per cent of this crucial market, MG believes there is significant untapped potential for future export growth.’’

Mr Helou said MG’s presence in Dubai would strengthen relationships with important customers and enable MG to market its products in the region. He said consumers appreciated Australia’s natural pasture-based farming systems and its exemplary food safety record.

The MG office in Dubai is one of four international offices, with other teams based in Tokyo, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore.

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