“Sustainability will continue to be an important role that all of the dairy companies need to increasingly pay attention to!”

|ChinaNews|Published:2023-08-09 13:46:35

Mengniu was born in Hohhot, and even a town of this city with a very small space of 25 square meters to start with, and in middle of nowhere. In less than 20 years, Mengniu has become one of the leading dairy companies in the world.

By considering of the charm of Hohhot, Jeffery Lu, CEO of Mengniu, mentioned in the Global Partners Appreciation Meeting recently: “We are representing the image of green in this piece of land. This is the strong equity that we own in Hohhot and in Inner Mongolia. And that is a secret success factor of us. On top of that, the entrepreneurship of our people here in Hohhot, in Mengniu has demonstrated the diligent work over the past 20 years to achieve this. And again, a complete supply chain that around this area has been built together with our partners, has formed a tremendous, efficient and focusing on food safety and quality that gives Hohhot a unique place in the world to present a unique position in the dairy industry.”

Distinguished guests from the dairy industry abroad gathered in the meeting. They highly praised Mengniu’s achievement and contribution to the China’s dairy industry, and China’s contribution to the world’s diary industry.

CRI Online: What‘s your impression of this meeting, which part impresses you most?

Simon Stevens, Executive Vice President of Arla: I would have said what was the most impressive thing, probably the focus on health and nutrition. Obviously, the reason why dairy in China or anywhere in the world is growing so fast is that it is the most healthy and nutritious food. I think it will also be why we continue to grow in the future to 2049. Why Jeffrey AI (Jeffrey Lu, CEO of Mengniu) looks so good? It's because clearly of the health. It'll be the health and nutrition of dairy that continues to feed the world.

The other thing I thought that was really good is to focus on sustainability. I can only speak where I’m coming from. I live in Denmark. In Denmark and Sweden, sustainability is the most important thing on consumers, and I think it will become the most important thing for all consumers certainly by 2049, not just in Scandinavian areas. To see Mengniu getting so far ahead of the curve is really impressive.

Teh-han Chow, CEO of Fonterra Greater China: This is wonderful to see such an event being hosted in China because China is the leading place for dairy development and I think China is at the forefront of a lot of aspects of dairy whether you look at it from an innovation point of view, whether you look at it from a product variety point of view. The pace of change is so quick.

I think the consumers in China are very lucky because they have wonderful products led by one of all these leading companies to provide innovation and nutrition. We're very honored to actually be part of this industry because it is an industry about nutrition. It is an industry about making people's lives better. It is an industry about a sustainable ecosystem and it's about making people have great tasty products. So I think it's really exciting that we're able to have this event here in Hohhot at the center of dairy in China. We are very proud to be a supporter of Mengniu and to be able to be part of this event.

CRI Online: As an important partner of Mengniu, what’s your comment on Mengniu’s achievement and contribution to the China’s dairy industry, and China’s contribution to the world’s diary industry?

Simon Stevens: I think they made a huge contribution. I also think its contribution to China and the health and nutrition of Chinese children growing up has been huge when you also though look at the dairy consumption in China and I compare it to Europe or New Zealand, it would be a completely different level, but it's still very low.

So I genuinely think Mengniu will be contributing to the health and nutrition of China going forward. Also, I think Mengniu is really leading the way in certain areas. Arla on sustainability is right up there, but honestly, we would see Mengniu as probably the other dairy company that's right there with us. I would actually have said to be fair on digitalization that we're quite good, but I think Mengniu is actually probably even better.

CRI Online: As the world’s leading diary company, what’s your comment on the achievement of China’s diary sector and what’s your expectation over its future?

Teh-han Chow: If you look at China's dairy development over the last decade and a half, it's been at a very rapid pace and its increased accessibility of dairy consumers all around China. Fonterra is over 150 years old. Our predecessors have seen the dairy industry developed over 150 years. However, there's been nothing like the pace of development that we've seen in China. So the expansion of dairy habits, expansion of new products led by players like Mengniu have been able to deliver accessible nutrition to consumers in an unparalleled way at an unparalleled speed. I think that's a lot of what we've seen over the last decade and a half. The quality of dairy in China has continued to improve year on year. Some of the standards for dairy for China remain the highest in the world. So I think that is something that we've seen through a very strong dairy industry developing in China.

What we see continuing to go forward is obviously people continue to want more nutritious products that are addressing their health and wellness as well as innovative products that are tasty. It is true that sustainability will continue to be an important role that all of the dairy companies need to increasingly pay attention to as the government looks at carbon neutrality and peak carbon emissions. These are goals also that Fonterra has, so we will achieve carbon emissions at zero by 2050 and we are already in a position to be one of the leading lowest carbon emissions dairy companies in the world. But I think that's where we can work together with our Chinese customers to be able to look at how do we take our sustainability and things that we've learned about it and help this country to be able to reach the mutual sustainability goals.

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