Under the terms of the deal, a business plan will be developed allowing Freedom Foods products to be sold in China

Under the terms of the deal, a business plan will be developed allowing Freedom Foods products to be sold in China

Australia's Freedom Foods Group and Perich Group have signed an agreement with China's New Hope Group that sees millions invested in Australian dairy farms.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding, signed on Tuesday (18 November), the parties will work to develop and implement growth in long term dairy milk supply, through the establishment of new "large scale intensive" dairy farms in South East Australia, for supply to Freedom's operations and other potential dairy processing operations in Australia.

Rory Macleod, MD of Freedom Foods Group, said: "Australia has a unique advantage in the supply and manufacture of high quality premium agriculture based foods. With increasing demand from markets in China and SE Asia for high quality value added product, Australia, through companies such as Freedom Foods Group and Perich Group, are well placed to play an important role in the development of this supply chain".

New Hope has established an investment fund of A$500m for the development of agricultural and food processing activities in Australia, with "a substantial proportion" to be invested in long term dairy farm and processing activities.

Under the agreement, Freedom Foods Group and New Hope Dairy have agreed to build on the existing relationship for the supply of UHT dairy milk for export and sale in China through a number of initiatives. These include reviewing other processing opportunities in dairy milk both in Australia and overseas, as well as the development of a business plan to take existing and/or new products Freedom Foods products for sale in China.