Abbott, Fonterra team up on China dairy farm

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Abbott Laboratories and Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd. plan to develop a $300 million dairy farm hub in China, where dairy consumption has been rising steadily for more than a decade.

If approved by China regulators, the joint venture will create a hub containing up to five dairy farms, 16,000 dairy cattle, and up to 42 million gallons of milk annually. The companies say the first farm could begin producing milk in the first half of 2017, with the other farms beginning production in 2018.

“We’re pleased to partner with Fonterra, a global leader in dairy science, on this alliance to build dairy capacity in China,” Abbott chairman and CEO Miles D. White said in a news release. “This is a very important step in our growing commitment to Chinese consumers.”

Abbott, based in North Chicago, makes health care devices and generic pharmaceuticals. Fonterra, based in New Zealand, is a farmer-owned co-operative and the world’s largest milk processor.

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