Indonesia’s dairy producer eyes M’sian market

BILLED as the “Honest Milk”, Indonesia-based Greenfields Milk’s claim as a leading dairy producer in South-East Asia cannot be far from the truth.

The company, which made its debut in the Malaysian market in October last year, produces fresh milk at its dairy farm in Malang, Indonesia. It is confident of a bullish business growth here.

PT Greenfields Indonesia is the largest fully integrated dairy facility and home to over 6,000 Holstein dairy cows imported from Australia. It claims to produce 60% of Indonesia’s milk.

With average day temperature of 24 ̊C-25 ̊C and night temperature of 13 ̊C-14 ̊C, the cool weather in the hills located 1,200m above sea-level is said to be ideal for raising and milking dairy cows.

No wonder Sally Lum, head of marketing for AustAsia Food Pte Ltd, says that their output in both quantity and quality is consistent all-year-round, making them the leading dairy producer in South-East Asia. With its presence, they are confident the brand would be well received by Malaysian consumers.

“Our aim is to double our total sales to two million litres by the end of next year worth RM18 million. Considering we are still new in the market, the brand is catching up well with four products available,” said Lum.

AustAsia Food is the regional distribution arm for Greenfields. It is controlled by Indonesian entrepreneur Handojo Santosa and Cargill’s Black River Asset Management LLC.

The increasing demand for the dairy products is due to the modern and better technology in chilling and transporting. Greenfields says its milk is single pasteurised unlike some brands which is double pasteurised. It is also sealed fresh at the farm itself, reducing time spent on travel and allowing more nutrients to be retained.

Speaking to journalists on a recent visit to the Greenfields facility in Malang, Surabaya, Lum said the fresh milk and other variants available in the market is derived from a single source supplier to maintain taste consistency.

She believes the growth in Malaysia would be driven by the increasing demand for dairy products, changing lifestyle, better education on the importance of dairy products and a good and modern retail supply chain.

“The growth target in the local Malaysian market is realistic. We are hopeful of a steady growth because of our modern technology applied in both the chilling and transporting process. We are also hopeful of doubling Greenfields’ annual milk production in the next two years because there is an appetite for dairy products in South-East Asia,” added Lum.

With Malaysia leading among the six Asean countries, the other countries are Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam.

The 50ha Greenfields milk supply facility, founded in 1999, currently has 6,000 pre-bred Holstein cows. There are plans to build a second integrated 180ha farm in the same radius. It also plans to import another 8,000 new Holstein cows from Australia once the new farm is com- pleted by end-2016.

The Greenfields products in four variants are available in Giant and Cold Storage supermarkets in Kuala Lumpur. Its dairy products are also supplied to food and beverage outlets like San Francisco Coffee, Gloria Jeans Coffee Bean and Starbucks.

Lum said Greenfields holds a 30%-35% market in Indo- nesia with its fresh milk. The Malaysian market is still a new growing market. According to reports, Malaysia looks promising because consumers consume about 50 litres per person per year compared to Indonesia (8%) and Singapore (32%).

“There is a huge market in Malaysia,” added Lum.

The Indonesian farm, located in the cool foothills of Gunung Kawi above Malang in East Java, has been pro- ducing fresh milk for consumers in the region for the past 15 years.