Nestlé has opened its latest milk factory in China as it looks to build sales of dairy products, its strongest category in the country.

The Swiss food giant today (5 July) unveiled the new plant, which is based in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and is Nestlé’s 21st in the country.

Nestlé CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe called the CHF32m (US$26.3m) site a “pioneering investment”. The plant will employ 145 people and source milk from around 4,300 suppliers in region.

Nestlé believes the site and supply network will build on its sales of dairy products in China. Last year, the company generated CHF1.9bn in sales across its business. A Nestlé spokesman declined to give specific sales for the company’s dairy division but said it is “by far the largest category”.

The spokesman told just-food: “We are seeing double-digit growth in China, which is very promising.”