Brownes sale ‘good’ for farms: dairy president

Michael PhilippsSouth Western Times
WA Farmers Dairy president Michael Partridge
Camera IconWA Farmers Dairy president Michael Partridge Credit: Countryman

WA Farmers dairy president Michael Partridge believes the sale of Brownes Dairy to Chinese investors will have significant benefits for South West farmers.

Brownes, WA’s oldest dairy, was bought by Chinese dairy giant Shanghai Ground Food Tech according to a statement released on Tuesday. Mr Partridge said it was a significant move that would present greater opportunities for Brownes’ suppliers.

“The new owner is a Chinese company that has experience in operating dairy businesses in China,” he said.

“It is hoped this experience will gain the WA dairy industry greater access to markets in China and other Asian countries moving forward, which can only be embraced as a positive move, particularly if local manufacturing capacities are also developed.”

Mr Partridge said the announcement could help revitalise the South West dairy industry.

“It has been a difficult 18 months due to the lack of access into world markets and in balancing the State’s dairy supply,” he said.

“The indications are that the new owners will expand the cheese manufacturing capabilities, which will be of significant benefit to the State’s dairy industry and provide greater certainty for producers.”

Mr Partridge said foreign investment had the potential to provide growth for the industry.

“Foreign investment is becoming an important part of the agriculture industry as more and more foreign buyers take an interest in what the Australian agricultural sector has to offer,” he said.

“While some may consider it to be preferred that WA business are locally owned, foreign investment brings in valuable capital that allows for new ideas, innovations and technologies to enter our industry.

“Most importantly, foreign investment brings with it greater opportunities to access world markets.”

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