Processors and dairy companies looking to tap into emerging markets such as Brazil and China need to think broadly.

Speaking at the Dairy UK conference Euromonitor senior analyst Ildiko Szalai said the global dairy market was estimated to be worth $505bn by 2017, with growth largely driven by China and Brazil, while the European market is expected to contract.

“The growth is going to come from the Asia Pacific region – population is very strongly linked to growth. Growth opportunities are there and success is not without challenges – most expanding companies are investing highly in these markets, but we see a few very niche innovations.”

Examples of countries tapping in to these emerging markets include New Zealand dairy co-op Fonterra investing $80m in setting up its own farms in China – it expects to have a herd size of 15,000 cows by 2015. Nestle has invested $560m in a floating supermarket boat for the Amazon River in Brazil (pictured).