CANBERRA, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- Australia's national airline Qantas has been named as the exclusive air freight provider to begin shipping fresh Tasmanian milk express to Ningbo, China.
Qantas and VAN Dairy announced its partnership on Thursday, with more than 50,000 liters of fresh milk to be shipped to China weekly.
VAN Dairy spokesperson Sean Shwe said China's "huge demand" for fresh Australian milk and other produce was encouraging for all small Australian businesses.
He added that Qantas was a vital partner in linking China's booming middle class to small-time Australian producers looking to secure a bigger slice of the export pie.
"There is a huge demand for fresh milk in China and the key to satisfying that demand is having a reliable freight partner with an established freighter network, infrastructure and support in China and expertise in handling fresh produce - Qantas provides that," Shwe said in a statement on Friday.
"Establishing this trade bridge is an exciting venture for our dairy company, and opens the door for access for other Tasmanian producers of fresh, perishables such as seafood, fruit and vegetables to air freight their produce on this direct flight to China."
"It will be a game changer for Tasmania, and we are proud to be leading the charge."
Meanwhile Qantas Freight's Alison Webster said the airline was "really pleased" to assist Tasmanian exporters in growing their businesses in China.
"Over the past three years Qantas Freight has developed particularly strong capabilities in dairy export which, with its short-life, requires close collaboration to ensure on time delivery and quality control throughout the supply chain."
"We're really pleased to partner with VAN Dairy to help meet the booming demand for fresh Tasmanian milk in China - it's the ultimate milk run."
The weekly service, on board a 767-300F aircraft, is expected to begin early next year, with capacity to expand the service in the future.