Etika initiatives to drive growth of local dairy industry

(From left) Etika Holdings (Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei) chief executive officer Khalid Alvi, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub and deputy minister Sim Tze Tzin at the officiation ceremony of Goodday

KUALA LUMPUR: Etika Holdings will initiate commercial processing of fresh milk with a foreign direct investment (FDI) of more than RM100mil in a move to drive the dairy industry.

The halal beverage company is also collaborating with Koperasi Penternak Lembu Tenusu Negeri Johor Bhd as part of its corporate social responsibility to provide additional incentives to local cow breeders. Etika is supplying the cooperative cooling tanks that can hold larger volumes of milk, which allow breeders to increase their livestock and milk production.

Etika will sign an MOU with Saujana Feedmill & Agro Tech Sdn Bhd, Indahraya International Ventures Sdn Bhd, DDS Daily Fresh Milk and MADAC Sdn Bhd for livestock breeders and agroprenuers in Meru, Klang, to supply fresh milk to Etika Dairies Sdn Bhd.

Also, Etika will work with Angkatan Koperasi Kebangsaan Malaysia Berhad to contribute packets of fresh milk to children at cooperatives schools in Johor. The Goodday Milk Programme is an Etika initiative to educate young children on the importance of drinking milk as well as to promote the health and well-being of the nation’s children.

Etika made these announcements during a visit by Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub to its commercial fresh milk processing plant in Meru.

Etika Holdings (Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei) chief executive officer Khalid Alvi hosted Salahuddin and took the minister on a tour of Etika’s daily dairy operations and supply chains for Goodday Milk.

“Milk and other dairy products are a vital part of a balanced diet and we want to encourage our people to consume milk and milk products daily," said Salahuddin.

"To grow and sustain the local dairy industry ensures that the rakyat gets top-quality milk but also opens up many job opportunities.

"The Government believes that the agricultural sector, and in this instance dairy farming, will help grow the Malaysian economy. As such we are happy to support Etika in their endeavours to further invest in our local dairy industry,” he said.

With more than 1,700 employees and 40,000 retail partners across the country, Etika has been one of the leading contributors to Malaysia’s dairy industry for more than five decades with Goodday Milk.

“Our local farmers and cow breeders are the future of agriculture. Businesses like us along with the Government should give them the support they need to increase productivity, efficiency and grow our local dairy export businesses," said Khalid.

According to a report published on Malaysia’s agricultural sector, local liquid milk production covers only about 5% of domestic needs. The rise in industrialisation and education has led to a more health-conscious population and a rise in demand for dairy products – driving the Government and local milk operations to undertake initiatives that can increase self-sufficiency of the dairy industry.

The initiatives by Etika will serve to directly benefit local cow breeders and associated businesses by helping them to advance, thus creating room for economic growth. This is also in line with the Government’s plan to ensure food security, increase rural economic development and encourage domestic investment and international trade.

Khalid said that such initiatives would in the long run attract private and international investments to develop strong export businesses for locally-produced dairy products, channelling more economic growth for the agriculture, livestock and dairy industries.

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