Monday 11th July 2011 1 Comment
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A2 Corporation says it expects to commission its own processing plant in southwest Sydney next January to meet a growing demand for A2 milk in Australia.
"Our A2 milk business in Australia continues to grow rapidly and the development of our own processing facility will allow for the continued expansion of the business," said company chairman Cliff Cook.
He said sales growth was greater than expected in the six months to June 30 and the new $A7.5 million ($NZ9.23 million) factory would process 10 million litres of milk a year, some of it additional to 20 million litres of milk already supplied by contractors.
A2 Corp shareholders last year approved a deal to buy up the remaining 50 percent stake in Australia's A2 Dairy Products that they did not already own.
In return, A2 Corp gave its partner in the company, ASX-listed Freedom Nutritional Products, a 25 percent stake in A2 Corp, with the option of later increasing its stake to 27 percent.
A2 Corp now has said exclusive rights for the production and sale of A2 milk products in Australia and Japan.
In Australia, up to 15 suppliers across northern Victoria, New South Wales and southern Queensland supply 20m litres for white milk sales and extra milk for yoghurt. The company has a licensing agreement with yoghurt brand Jalna.
The company has claimed that dairy cows originally produced A2 type of beta casein protein only, but the breeding of European cows for higher yields has led to some cows producing an A1 type of the protein and that many milks in shops are a mix of the two types.
It said that milk with only the A2 type of protein "may provide protection" from a range of intolerance responses to cow's milk protein and assist digestion.
When the milk was originally marketed in 2003, it was sold as a "risk free alternative" to standard milk, such as that produced by dairy giant Fonterra, which contains a mix of A1 and A2 beta casein proteins.
A2 Corp claimed the beta casein A1 found in most cows' milk sold in New Zealand had been linked with the development of coronary heart disease, childhood diabetes and also implicated in autism and schizophrenia.
But food manufacturers are legally barred from making therapeutic claims for their foods -- such as being capable of curing illness -- unless they substantiate the claims with scientific testing and register the food as a medicine.
A European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) review, which canvassed the claims that milk containing A2 beta casein was less likely to cause health problems than the milk containing the A1 form, said that different types of cow's milk were safe to drink and no one type of milk was safer than another.
The issue is expected to attract new attention in the wake of recent Indian research which showed local cow and buffalo breeds possessed a rich A2 allele gene that "provides a better and healthier quality of milk than foreign breeds",
After screening the status of the A2 allele of the beta casein gene in indigenous cows, National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR) director B K Joshi said the A1 allele gene in western breeds "is considered to be associated with diabetic, obesity, cardiovascular diseases".
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