A Cheshire-based dairy could become the first UK company to export fresh milk to China – thanks to help from Reaseheath College. NEMI Dairy, based in Audlem near Nantwich, is in advanced discussions to sell its milk, which is naturally enriched with selenium, in major cities across the country.
Founder and managing director Andrew Henderson wants to see his milk on sale in China by August 1 this year and, if he hits his target, he’ll have the team of experts from Reaseheath College to thank for their continued support.
Andrew attended a business masterclass run by the college’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funded SME Business Growth Programme in October. And Reaseheath’s food production unit also worked with him to test the milk and make sure it could stay fresher for longer.
“The team at the college has been so supportive of every part of our work,” says Andrew, who launched his company more than three years ago and has been working on the concept for more than 10 years.
“Obviously, due to the time and distance it takes to cross continents, there is an issue with getting fresh milk to China. But we’ve come up with a process that has not only extended shelf life but also makes sure the milk maintains a fresh taste.
Earlier this month Andrew welcomed a Chinese delegation to Reaseheath to view the work that’s going on and, in June, he and his team will travel to Shanghai to see the other end of the chain.
The team at NEMI is working with commercial partners to make sure the deal runs smoothly. Shepton Mallet-based packaging expert Framptons is one of only three UK processors with the necessary accreditation and licenses to export to China. And the distribution will be handled by the Shanghai Extend Import and Export Co, who already source and distribute chilled seafood products in China.