The news that New Zealand meat is now moving off the wharves and into Chinese stores is welcome.  In the last 30 years, China has become a major consumer of our agribusiness.

The challenge over the next 20 years will not be about countries competing to meet a limited demand for high-quality food – it will be about countries striving to ensure there is enough supply.

Fonterra, for example, has three large dairy farms in Hebei Province and is currently developing two more to complete a hub. Its longer-term goal is to produce produce 1billion litres of high-quality milk in China by 2018.

The future for Southland and New Zealand – across all foods, not just dairy – is in partnering with other people and other countries in our region.

We are already doing that and will continue to do so in the future.