New Zealand-based dairy co-operative Fonterra has partnered with Alibaba’s Hema Fresh to launch its milk product in China.

Hema Fresh is Alibaba’s new retail concept that combines traditional high street shopping with a digital experience.

Fonterra’s milk will be available at Hema’s 14 stores in Shanghai and Suzhou in 750ml bottles. It is claimed to be sourced directly from Fonterra’s farm hub in Hebei province, China.

Fonterra will initially supply around 3tn of milk a day, planning to increase this volume as its presence grows in the Chinese market.

“Consumers are consciously seeking products that are fresh, nutritious and safe.”

Fonterra Greater China president Christina Zhu said: “Shoppers here in China are becoming increasingly sophisticated in terms of their tastes and preferences, which are being driven by rising household incomes.

“More than ever before, consumers are consciously seeking products that are fresh, nutritious and safe, and our new product for Hema caters to this.”

Fonterra also plans to sell Anchor’s ultra-high temperature processed (UHT) milk, butter, cream and cheese products through Hema.

Hema Fresh’s founder and CEO Hou Yi said: “This co-operation between two powerful companies is set to redefine the concept of fresh milk in the new retail era.

“As a global leader in the dairy industry, Fonterra is well-known for quality milk pools, world-class breeding techniques and advanced experience in food safety and quality, which matches well with what we advocate.”