Fonterra says no final deal has been signed

Fonterra says no final deal has been signed

Fonterra, the world's largest dairy exporter, has confirmed that it is in talks with Indian co-op Iffco over the establishment of a dairy farm in the country.

Kelvin Wickham, MD of Fonterra Global Trade, said today (4 October) that the New Zealand dairy giant was "interested" in the Indian market and said negotiations were taking place.

"We are in exploratory talks with Iffco, a large Indian farmer co-operative, about potentially establishing a dairy farming operation in India," Wickham said.

Reports in India have claimed the two sides will set up a dairy with over 40,000 imported cows in Nellore in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

According to The Economic Times, the venture will sell milk under Iffco's Kisan brand name. The Indian newspaper said Iffco would take a 45% stake in the venture, Fonterra would hold 35% and Global Dairy Health India, a local entity, would hold the remainder.

However, Wickham added: "It is early days and we do not yet have any formal agreement."