Global dairy exports firm Fonterra has entered the Indian market through an equal joint venture with the Kishore Biyani-led Future Group.

The New Zealand-based dairy major had earlier tied up with Britannia, but parted ways in 2009.

The new partnership, under the name Fonterra Future Dairy Partners, is expected to help the company strengthen its position in the Indian market that is dominated by a few national players such as Amul and Mother Dairy along with regional and local dairy businesses.

Lukas Paravicini, Fonterra’s COO - Global Consumer and Foodservice, said: “It (the partnership) will allow us to prepare the groundwork and make the most of our expertise as we enter the world’s largest and fastest growing dairy industry. Consumer demand for dairy in India over the next seven years is set to increase by 82 billion litres — seven times the forecast growth for China.”

The initial stages of the partnership will focus on product development and marketing, he added. The first consumer products will be launched by the middle of 2019, using both locally sourced milk and dairy products from New Zealand.

Future Group has a national presence with over 2,000 modern outlets and 5,000 distribution outlets. It plans to add 1,100 stores this year.

Nilgiris operations

Kishore Biyani, Group Chief Executive Officer, Future Group, said: “With Fonterra, Future Consumer (consumer division) will enhance its food and FMCG portfolio and will offer a variety of dairy products which are high in demand and consumed daily.” The company plans to merge its existing Nilgiris dairy business into the new firm, he added.