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October 18, 2019

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Yashili factory reshapes small town in New Zealand

Located at the south of Auckland city with one hour driving distance, Pokeno used to be a small and remote town in Waikato district. Right now, it becomes much busier, after Yashili, a Chinese food firm set up a factory here.

“When we came here in 2013, it was all pasture here,” Managing Director Wei Song of Yashili New Zealand Dairy Co. Ltd, pointed at the areas outside of the factory. “Within just six years, the population of Pokeno has doubled, and the employment and infrastructure construction in town have also improved a lot.”

Allan Sanson, Mayor of Waikato district, said that Yashili has made great contribution to the economy and community development in Waikato district, leading the investment in Waikato district.

“It is a great pleasure to have them, work with them over the past years. I certainly wish them well going forward to the future,” he said.

Waikato district is a traditional farming and pastoral area in New Zealand, with a beautiful rural scenery and abundant rainwater and sunshine. The protein of local pasture’s grass accounts for 20 percent. That’s why New Zealand’s key dairy industry players, Fonterra and Synlait for example, have also set up their factories or stations in this district, fighting for high-quality milk resources.

Yashili chose to establish its factory in Pokeno in 2013. Currently, the factory’s asset has amounted over 300 million NZ dollars (about US$187 million). The factory currently has two production lines for infant formula, with an annual production capacity of 25,000 tons of infant milk powder.

The factory is both internationalized, with management team from China, New Zealand and France, and localized, with lots of staff from local communities.

According to Sanson, Yashili New Zealand has been one of the most competitive and promising diary companies in local district. “The management team knows how to turn good milk resources into excellent products. I hope they will do better and better.”

Recently, a New Zealand research report issued by the New Zealand China Council points out that China’s investment projects have promoted New Zealand’s economic development and improved the well-being of local people.

Sanson told Xinhua that besides economic contribution, Yashili New Zealand has sponsored schools, medical centres and library. Wei said, “We are not only bringing the best quality products to Chinese consumers, we also share the Chinese culture and values with the New Zealand people and community.”

Yashili New Zealand Dairy Co, Ltd has around 170 staff from 28 different countries and regions. Service Manager Leighton Keightlev is a local person from Pokeno.

He enjoys working in Yashili and has made a lot of friends from all over the world.

Sofia Concha, the production release officer from Peru always has a smile on her face. She said, as the first-generation migrant, she felt a great sense of security here in Yashili, and she is expecting her first child in February next year.

At the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in 2018, Yashili New Zealand Dairy Co Ltd obtained the “Waikato Excellent Enterprise Award” and “Waikato Excellent Quality Award.”

The Import Expo has showed China’s intention to further open up to the world, Wei said, which is a prescious opportunity for enterprises.


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