Chinese consumers will soon be able to order fresh New Zealand milk through e-commerce platform Alibaba, but at a cost.
The platform is selling two 1L bottles of milk for 79RMB or $16.50 after it signed a deal with Milk New Zealand.
The trade agreement means the milk will be available to potentially millions of customers on Alibaba's Tmall platform from the end of next week.
The launch in Hamilton will be live webcast to Alibaba customers - a first, according to Milk New Zealand managing director Terry Lee.
"This is the first time Alibaba will promote fresh product directly via live webcast to its VVIP members and, as such, this collaboration has created a new model of how to promote New Zealand fresh products directly to Chinese consumers," he said.
Theland Farm Fresh Milk is produced by Green Valley Dairy Ltd and air-freighted to China in one litre bottles, with support from China Eastern Airline Cargo.
The milk has a shelf life of 16 days.
Lee said the partnership was a significant opportunity in a growing market.
"It's an exciting prospect not only because it promotes the collaboration we have with Alibaba, but also provides Chinese consumers with insight to where and how the milk is produced."
"Traceability - from pasture to plate - is very strong in China. Consumers want to know that the product they are consuming has been produced with the highest animal welfare, environmental and quality processes."
Lee said by September 8, about 35,000 bottles would have been shipped. The company plans the production of about 20,000 bottles a month until the end of this year when it would be increased to about 80,000 bottles a month.
"Demand for fresh milk is growing in China, particularly for product which has been grown and processed in New Zealand," Lee said.
"Theland Fresh Milk is 100 per cent New Zealand made."
As well as Minister of Food Safety David Bennett, executives from Alibaba and several Chinese social media influencers would be at the launch in Hamilton next week.
Alibaba is one of the world's largest retailers and has operations in more than 200 countries.
It has more than 529 million monthly active mobile users across its platforms.