[11 March/Rural News]

The a2 Milk Company and Fonterra Co-operative Group are continuing to partner as new commercial opportunities come to existence. Jayne Hrdlicka, Managing Director and Chief Executive of a2 Milk states the company has significant future growth plans, with the first step focusing on building the milk pool growth in Australia and New Zealand. The company announced last Wednesday a 55.1 percent jump in half-year after-tax profits of $157.7 million and revenue up 41 percent to $613.1 million. Fonterra said it will be signing up farms to supply milk for the a2 Milk in the 2019-20 season. Its first a2 milk pool will be in Waikato around its Hautapu site and will support the production of ingredients. About 100 farms will be needed for next season. Most of the value from the relationship with The a2 Milk Company will be returned to all co-operative farmers through the dividend. Participating farms will also receive a premium for their milk. A2 Milk have been focusing on developing an understanding of consumers in China, and based on half year results, Chinese revenue growth was 83 percent.