Milk New Zealand Holdings Ltd
Benefits from Chinese investment extend beyond the farm gate to NZ Inc.
The benefits of Chinese investment extend beyond the farm gate and into the New Zealand economy according to the CEO of Pengxin International, Gary Romano.
Romano made these comments when Shanghai Pengxin subsidiary, Milk New Zealand Holdings, was named the supreme winner at the 2015 HSBC NZCTA New Zealand China Business Awards. The company also took out the DLA Piper category ward for Inward or Outward Investment with China.
The awards follow success earlier this year when Milk New Zealand Holdings won the Emerging Business Award and then the overall Supreme Business Award at the BNZ New Zealand Chinese Business Awards.
Shanghai Pengxin first came to public attention in New Zealand when it purchased 16 farms in the North Island which previously belonged to the Crafar family.
“It was controversial at the time but the results we’ve achieved prove that we’ve added a considerable amount of value to the farms and environment, to the families working on those farms, to the local communities and to wider economy,” Gary Romano said.
“Since that initial purchase we have also purchased a significant stake in Synlait farms in Canterbury and currently have a number of applications with the Overseas Investment Office to buy more dairy land.
“A contributing factor to the success we have enjoyed, in business awards and on our farms, is our desire to partner with people recognising that we are not good at everything and there are people out there who can provide those skills.
“A case in point is Landcorp with whom we have enjoyed a fantastic partnership since they took over the running of our first set of farms in the North Island.
“On the consumer side we have had good initial success with UHT milk and have plans for the future which include developing other dairy products.
“We would also like more direct investment in processing factories. While Miraka has been a fantastic partner we would like to be able to consider further capital investment in our own name.”
Romano said that it is easy to see the direct benefits of Shanghai Pengxin’s investment in New Zealand.
“We buy farms which are under-resourced and invest in those properties improving production and environmental outcomes, along with the working and living conditions of our staff.
“The farms are not ‘just’ productive units – they are part of our brand story which reassures the New Zealand public and consumers of our UHT branded milk in China that we are responsible custodians of the land.
“The indirect benefits of our investment are tangible and significant. Money has come into New Zealand and been invested in land and that investment is having a flow-on positive impact on local and wider communities – creating businesses and employment.
“Our involvement and investment in New Zealand is good for New Zealand Inc.”