Groupe Danone has entered Thailand's fresh dairy market through a strategic partnership with Dutch Mill.

The companies have announced the creation of a business producing fresh dairy products in the country, called Danone Dairy Thailand.

Thai-owned Dutch Mill is one of the nation's largest manufacturers of high-quality dairy products, serving local and international consumers.

Danone VP for fresh dairy products Bernard Hours said: "Groupe Danone wants to quickly develop Danone brand in countries where it is not present yet, and in this context, Thailand is a high potential market. This partnership, which we are very proud of, will allow Groupe Danone to benefit from the market knowledge of Dutch Mill and its distribution channels in the region."

According to the French dairy firm, the Thai market offers promising scope for growth, with an average per capita consumption of 4 kilos per year and a high interest shown by urban consumers in the health benefits of dairy products.

Dutch Mill chief operating officer Yol Phokasub said: "We are delighted to team up with Groupe Danone since we have a tremendous opportunity to provide innovative dairy products to the Thai consumers. Thanks to Danone's technical and R&D capabilities, we expect to shorten the time-to-market for value added products and thus contribute positively to improve the Thai dairy industry."

For fresh dairy products, Danone holds number one market positions in 20 countries worldwide, including the US, UK and France.