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Australians develop long-life fresh milk for Asia

Staff writer |
A group of Australian entrepreneurs have developed technology capable of increasing the shelf life of fresh milk to 100 days.

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They now plan to ship their long-lasting product to Malaysia - with other Asian countries in their sights.

Innovative Melbourne-based beverage company, MADE, announced a $1.5 million export agreement which will result in 200,000 liters of Aussie milk being shipped to Malaysia each month, commencing in June.

After spending almost $15 million on the development of an ultra-clean processor that keeps milk fresher for longer without compromising taste, MADE will be able to send its product, bottled in recyclable plastic, abroad by sea.

Until now, exporting fresh milk has not been a viable option for small companies due to the high-cost of air freight.

Fresh milk is in high demand among Asia's booming middle class, and the new technology has made it possible for the small Australian company to capitalize on demand.

Previously, milk companies had bypassed the problem by producing long-life milk, but MADE co-founder, Luke Marget, said Asian consumers - like those in Australia - preferred the fresh option.

"Coinciding with the company's 10th year of operation, MADE will be the first Australian company to transport fresh PET-bottled milk by ocean to Asia, unlocking a lucrative market opportunity for local dairy farmers," Marget told News Corp on Tuesday.

"Other Australian companies exporting fresh milk to Asia rely on refrigerated air freight to transport the milk quickly, however the cost-prohibitive nature of air freight, coupled with the short shelf life of milk, has made the prize of exporting fresh milk hard to seize.

"Our state-of-the-art production facility is equipped with a range of processing technology that no other Australian manufacturer offers, making our locally made products instantly more competitive overseas."

Earlier this year, MADE invited overseas retailers and distributors from Malaysia, China, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines and the Middle East to Australia for trade talks.

The Australian company, launched in 2005 by three schoolmates, generates around 88 million U.S. dollar in sales annually from its range of milk, coconut water, high-protein drinks and cold-pressed juices.

On top of the Malaysian milk deal, MADE is poised to start exporting its high-protein Rokeby Farms breakfast smoothie to Singapore, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong, China at some stage in 2016.

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