Trade show chance to showcase NZ’s milking automation tech to China

Article Details

27 Jul, 2019


Country Manager, China, David Morris, has represented the company at its previous six outings at the trade show and is looking forward to the seventh, over July 12-14.

Waikato Milking Systems will be one of just three New Zealand agribusinesses appearing at China’s biggest rural trade show in July.

China Dairy Exhibition in Tianjin attracts more than 500 exhibitors and brands each year, with 60,000 visitors over the 55,000 sqm exhibition site during the three day event.

The trade show is run by the Dairy Association of China which aims to work as a bridge between government, dairy enterprises, research institutes, farmers and consumers.

Its goal is to enhance the development of the Chinese dairy industry.

This will be the seventh year Waikato Milking Systems has exhibited at the international trade show, under the umbrella of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. 

Just two other Kiwi agribusinesses will attend under the guidance of NZTE, including Fonterra and PinacleAg.

Technology data company, Datamars, which has manufacturers in New Zealand, and export products out of the country, will also exhibit with NZTE at the trade show.

Waikato Milking Systems Country Manager, China, David Morris, has represented the company at its previous six outings at the trade show and is looking forward to the seventh, over July 12-14.

“It’s really a chance to support our dealers in China and showcase our brand to potential customers.

“We’re well known in New Zealand and in other parts of the world but we still have to work hard in countries like China, to show people who we are and what we can do.

“In China, you need to show you’re a serious supplier and you have a long term commitment to the country.

“We now have five dealers, our own eight-person installation team and two service and product support managers in China.” 

Morris said the China dairy market is also looking for reliability, after sales service and competitive pricing.

“People in China have been traders for thousands of years and are always looking for the best possible outcome.”

Morris said milking automation and dairy management systems will be two key areas Waikato Milking Systems will target in China this year. 

“Times are changing in China and automation is something dairy operators there need.

“They’re not looking for robotic milking systems but they do want to reduce labour costs, especially when they’re running a milking operation 20 hours a day, for example.

“That could include six or seven hours of intense milking of 3000 animals, three times per day.

“It’s pretty tough so they do require automation and being more receptive to that type of technology.”

Waikato Milking Systems also planned to use the exhibition to introduce its Navigate Dairy Management System to the country.

The system gathers data on the herd at milking time to help the dairy farmer make decisions to improve the productivity and profitability of the animals.

It can measure each cow, detect health problems, provide live weight measurements, manage each cow’s feed and can automatically draft cows based on list of rules set by the farmer.

Goat dairy farming is also a market Waikato Milking Systems is exploring further in China due to consumer demand. The company will have its goat and sheep rotary platform on display.

“We have an 80-bail goat rotary to install in China with several more orders about to be signed.

“Interest in milking sheep is also high but that’s still a specialised market. Everyone has been farming goats for a long time but farming sheep for dairy, that’s still new.”

Morris has worked with the company in various roles since the mid-1990s but has specialised in the China market for the past seven years.

“Doing business in China, it’s all about forming a partnership and relationships, having integrity and understanding their culture.

“We have an office and warehouse in central Beijing and we work through a state owned company which gives us a pathway to the market.”

Morris said Waikato Milking Systems has worked with the Dairy Farming Institute in Northeast China to run training seminars in the classroom and on dairy farms, which includes a visit to New Zealand.

“One company that came through that training session later expanded their operation to include four new 80-bail rotary platforms and I’d like to think we became their preferred supplier because of the commitment we made to the Dairy Farming Institute training programme in China and their visit to New Zealand.

“It’s a great team result, not so much about me, but I would like to think the work we have done in China now will go on for years to come.”