15 Apr 2011

Processors say they haven't heard from Chinese company

6:13 pm on 15 April 2011

Three of the largest dairy processors in the North Island say they have not been approached by a Chinese company that wants to buy the Crafar family farms.

The Shanghai-based Pengxin International Group applied to the Overseas Investment Office this week or 16 Crafar farms in receivership.

The company plans to spend at least $200 million on the farms if the bid is successful and says it will boost the New Zealand economy by hiring local workers.

It says is is looking at partnering with existing dairy processors to make consumer products for export to China, ranging from baby food to cheese and icecream.

However, Fonterra, Open Country and Tatua say they have not been contacted.

Open Country's chairperson Laurie Margrain says because of the location of the Crafar farms, it is unlikely to consider an arrangement with Pengxin.