When the celebrations for Chinese New Year began yesterday, chances are many of the treats served in family homes across China, contained cream from Taranaki.

Paul Chubb, site manager of Fonterra Whareroa, says Fonterra's Whareroa and Eltham sites exported more than $520 million in products to China over 2017 / 18.

"That works out as around $4300 per person in Taranaki."

Paul says cream is the main Taranaki export to China, and about half the cream cakes made in China every year contain Fonterra cream. Cream cakes are particularly popular around Chinese New Year as families gather to celebrate the annual holiday.

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Cream from Taranaki also ends up in plenty of drinks in China, with Paul saying there are more than 500 million tea macchiatos made with Fonterra cream every year.

Tea macchiatos, or nai gai cha, are a popular drink in China, and are made using a base of Chinese tea, topped with a cap of cream and cream cheese that is whipped together until it forms a light and fluffy texture.

Paul says their Chinese customers frequently visit the sites in Taranaki, with one group visiting the Whareroa site last week.

"Being able to visit our sites gives our customers the confidence in the product they are purchasing."

Paul says business visitors are always amazed by the size of the operations in Taranaki and impressed with the food safety and quality control.