The Slovenia Times

China Approves Slovenian Dairy Products


The clearance from Chinese authorities is a key precondition as Slovenia seeks to tap the Chinese market with its dairy products ahead of the planned scrapping of EU quotas on milk production.

The government is hoping exports to China could significantly prop up the milk industry and Agriculture Minister Dejan Židan has expressed the hope that exports could start as early as this year.

"We have received notice from the Slovenian Embassy in Beijing that the assessment has been deemed successful," the Food Safety Administration said.

The Chinese food inspectors visited farms, a milk collection facility and the Ljubljanske mlekarne and Mlekarne Celeia dairies as part of their visit here in early February.

China has already forwarded a draft bilateral protocol governing the export of milk that now needs to be finalised and signed, after which China will begin with the registration of Slovenian exporters. This is expected to take around a month.

While exports of fresh milk are not in the cards given the distance, Slovenian officials are putting their hopes on milk powder and processed products such as cheese spreads and cheese.

Agrarian economist Emil Erjavec told the STA in February that Slovenian industry does not have the scale to participate in the mass-market segment given the vast demands of China's market of 1.3 billion people.

China produces around 32 million tonnes of milk per year to Slovenia's half a million tonne.

There is room to export niche products such as functional food. But as Erjavec put it, this is only possible if the industry is technologically sophisticated.


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