The Irish Dairy Board (IDB) has today announced a major product expansion into the Chinese market with the launch of whole milk under a new Kerrygold Chinese trade mark.

The new product and trade mark, pronounced ‘Jin Kai Li’, was unveiled by the Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Simon Coveney TD at a ceremony in Beijing during the Irish Trade Mission to China.

The announcement comes as part of IDB’s strategy to develop premium dairy products for markets in milk deficit regions. China will be an immediate route to market for additional milk Irish farmers will produce when milk quotas are removed in April 2015, IDB said in a press statement this morning.

“We are entering an exciting time for the Irish dairy sector as milk quotas are abolished from next April,” said Minister Coveney. “The development of premium dairy products and the building of routes to markets, in particular in emerging dairy markets like China, are essential if we are to deliver on our objectives under Food Harvest 2020. IDB’s investment in China and the entry of Kerrygold Whole Milk into the Chinese mass market opens up considerable market opportunities for the additional milk we are expecting post 2015.”

Kerrygold Whole Milk will be sold through major Chinese retailers, regional shopping networks and e-commerce retailers and supported by a marketing campaign that highlights Ireland as “a pure, green island, with clean family farms, where the tradition of craftsmanship is married with the modern technology required to ensure high standards of safety and quality production,” said IDB.

The Chinese liquid milk market is estimated to be worth €18 billion with an annual growth rate of over 10 per cent. Over 11 billion litres of liquid milk are consumed in China each year, compared with just 670 million litres in Ireland.