Posted on 15th June 2023
Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (“F&NHB” or “the Group”) launches its foray into the upstream fresh milk business with a groundbreaking ceremony of the Group’s integrated dairy farm in Gemas, Negeri Sembilan. This momentous milestone puts the Group on track to become one of the largest milk producers in Malaysia when its integrated farm reaches its Phase 1 full production at 100 million litres of fresh milk.
Spread over 2,726 hectares, the farm will eventually house 20,000 milking cows, producing 200 million litres of fresh milk yearly for the local and international markets. The processing and packaging line will be sited right next to the milking parlour, offering Malaysian consumers quality fresh milk at an affordable price. This will also help promote the growth of the local agricultural industry by fostering a skilled workforce and generating job opportunities in the dairy and agriculture industries.
The groundbreaking ceremony was officiated by the Menteri Besar of Negeri Sembilan, Y.A.B. Dato’ Seri Haji Aminuddin bin Harun. Also present to witness the launch were Negeri Sembilan State Secretary, Y.B. Dato’ Mohd Zafir bin Ibrahim, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO), Investment Promotion and Facilitation of Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Sivasuriyamoorthy Sundara Raja, the Chairman of F&NHB, Y.A.M. Tengku Syed Badarudin Jamalullail, and F&NHB Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Lim Yew Hoe.
Menteri Besar Negeri Sembilan, Y.A.B. Dato’ Seri Haji Aminuddin bin Harun expressed enthusiasm for the development of F&NHB’s dairy farm in Gemas, emphasising its potential to contribute to the local economy, the Malaysian dairy industry, and the creation of a skilled workforce.
“Projects such as this will not only create new job opportunities and agrobusiness prospects for local communities but also empower them with new technologies in dairy farming. Furthermore, F&NHB’s establishment of a Research & Development (R&D) Centre or Centre of Excellence (COE) for Dairy and Agriculture will contribute to the development of skilled professionals in fields such as veterinarians, animal nutritionists, agronomists, food technologists, and food R&D. These initiatives will undoubtedly enhance job opportunities for skilled workforces, driving growth in the dairy and agriculture sectors,” Dato’ Seri Haji Aminuddin bin Harun stated in his opening address.
F&NHB’s Chief Executive Officer, Lim Yew Hoe, expressed satisfaction with the progress towards realising their ambitions in putting fresh milk into every home in Malaysia.
“Operationalising the integrated dairy farm will result in a vertical integration of F&NHB’s business and operations, reducing our reliance on imported milk for downstream production and distribution. This integration will also help lower the cost per litre of fresh milk, benefitting Malaysian consumers. We also aim to export the fresh milk, potentially making Malaysia a net exporter of fresh milk in the future.”
He further added that in addition to the dairy farm, F&NHB’s plans for feed crop farming within the facility align with the government’s goal of increasing feed crop production to reduce the nation’s dependence on imported feed. Malaysia currently imports nearly 100% of its animal feed from Brazil and Argentina.
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) responsibility is a key factor for the farm. Lim said that by reducing the need to import milk, the Group will also be able to reduce its overall carbon footprint due to the reduced need for transporting materials from overseas. The farm will also be designed around sustainable farming and circular economy practices, employing green technology throughout the farm’s processes. The Group is looking to invest at least RM1 billion into developing Phase 1 of the farm.
Mr. Sivasuriyamoorthy Sundara Raja, DCEO of MIDA expressed, ” F&NHB’s development of the integrated dairy farm represents a significant milestone for Malaysia’s self-sufficiency of fresh milk and dairy-based food supply. Apart from economic benefits, the comprehensive agri-food project aids Malaysia’s quest towards sustainable food supply and animal feed supply. The vast prospects of smart farming in dairy production, using technologies for best possible results in cattle care, feed mixing, circular management and diversified dairy products will certainly revolutionise the agribusiness segment in Malaysia.”
“In addition, Malaysia is the location for enterprises wishing to create a presence in the booming global halal market due to the country’s well-established food production ecosystem, skilled manpower and globally accepted halal certification system. Global players are welcome to diversify into innovative processes and advanced technology in the agriculture and food processing industries. By leveraging Malaysia’s business ecosystem and our established local supply chain, it serves as an ideal destination for companies to establish regional production hubs, while enabling the country to fortify its food production” he added.
“We want to express our appreciation and gratitude to MIDA, Departments and Agencies under Negeri Sembilan State Government such as INVEST Negeri Sembilan (INVEST NS), the Department of Veterinary Services Malaysia, and all other state and federal government agencies who have been a great support in enabling the launch of F&NHB’s venture,” added Lim.