New Zealand’s dairy behemoth Fonterra Co-operative Group made it clear yesterday [Thursday] that it considers Australia to form an important part of its “home market”.

CEO Craig Norgate told more than 300 dairy farmers at the Massey University annual dairy conference in Palmerston North that Fonterra recognises the need for a strong domestic market, something Fonterra’s predecessor, the New Zealand Dairy Board (NZDB), failed to do.

“A strong dairy industry needs a strong home market,” he told delegates: “…and New Zealand alone doesn’t provide the base needed.”

As a result, he said, Fonterra will make growth in Australia one of its top five priorities.

“We’re now considering how best to organise our assets in Australia,” he added.