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Current as of 26/05/17 07:40PM NZST
Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

PM delegation samples Southeast Asian dairy delights

Prime Minister John Key and Indonesian President Joko Widodo inspect an honour guard of traditional Javanese soldiers' prior to their bilateral meeting. Photo / AP
Prime Minister John Key and Indonesian President Joko Widodo inspect an honour guard of traditional Javanese soldiers' prior to their bilateral meeting. Photo / AP

In Indonesia, one of New Zealand's biggest companies is offering "Happiness in a Jar".

The creamy pudding, a sort of Indonesian delicacy, is one of the products Fonterra has created to cater to the quickly-growing Southeast Asian market.

Prime Minister John Key and a New Zealand delegation today taste-tested the pudding, along with cheese balls, cheese sticks, and other dairy goods especially tailored for Indonesian consumers at a huge Fonterra plant in Cikarang, a town on outskirts of Jakarta.

At the end of a dusty, tree-lined road an hour's drive from the capital, the $36 million Fonterra Brands plant, opened last year, is the dairy co-operative's largest investment in the Southeast Asian region in a decade.

Key said it was "living proof" of Government departments working on behalf of New Zealand companies to develop a footprint and grow New Zealand's reach to the world.

"As this market grows and as Asia grows its demand for dairy products, Fonterra intends to be at the forefront of that," he said.

"These are markets where, inevitably, as the consumer base gets wealthier, the demand grows not only for protein but for more security in its food and more quality in its food. And that's where Fonterra fits in."

Fonterra Brands president Achyut Kasireddy said Indonesia was one of the company's priorities.

"Our investment in this site allows us to produce more high quality dairy nutrition to meet Indonesians' increasing demand for dairy," he said.

The company also runs a scholarship programme for Indonesian farmers to help grow the local dairy sector.

Later today, Key will travel to Surabaya, the capital of East Java.

There, he will visit Baba Rafi, an Indonesian entrepreneur.

Key said the entrepreneur "started off from very humble means" and had built a business which had expanded into nine countries, using New Zealand beef.

"It's a good example of how a small start-up entrepreneur can build a global business," he said.

The Prime Minister will also launch a online competition to help young Indonesians to travel to New Zealand.

- NZ Herald

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