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Miraka signs Malaysia export agreement

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/05/2017 Rebecca Howard
China's new regulatory regime for infant formula imports and lower dairy prices have hit Sylait Milk's bottom line. © Getty China's new regulatory regime for infant formula imports and lower dairy prices have hit Sylait Milk's bottom line.

Miraka, the milk processor majority owned by North Island Maori trusts, is to export its first branded consumer product into Malaysia, followed by shipments to Singapore, the Philippines and China, Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell says.

Taupo-based Miraka and Malaysian distribution partner Storiiu signed a memorandum of understanding in Kuala Lumpur, witnessed by Mr Flavell during a visit to Malaysia with a delegation of seven Maori companies to raise the profile of New Zealand's food sector.

"This is an example of Maori leading with the principle of kaitiakitanga (guardianship of the land, its people and environment) and shows the positive response this approach is receiving in international markets," Mr Flavell said in a statement.

The agreement was evidence of Maori innovating and moving products and services up the value chain, forming long-term international partnerships, and building economic value for the future, he said.

Miraka uses geothermal steam from the Mokai field, owned by shareholder Tuaropaki Trust, to run its processing operations.

Up until now it has manufactured products for its customers, including powders and UHT but will now start shipping the Whai Ora smoothie blend, without specifying when the exports will start.

New Zealand exported $851 million to Malaysia in the year to March 2017, 4.5 per cent lower than in the prior year.

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