In life, many of those things you learn growing up apply both when you were young and in the future – the old saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket" is as applicable in your personal life as it is in business.
As Hart Dairy grows, diversifying our product range as well as diversifying our income stream becomes of the utmost importance. Having a diversified portfolio of products in both domestic and international markets ensure Hart Dairy is robust enough to withstand even the biggest downturns in markets and specific market segments.
In parallel to developing our retail footprint nationally through Publix, Freshmarket, Albertsons and Kroger - Hart has worked hard at developing markets outside of the US. That process has already started and Hart now has relationships with significant international players, especially in Asia. The process to developing these markets was not easy. When you are selling products that are consumed by humans, verifying the providence of the dairy products is of the utmost importance to any potential buyer.
As an American company, we compete with numerous countries on the world stage for the supply of dairy, especially the oceanic countries, New Zealand and Australia. These countries produce some of the best dairy products in the world. Their ideal climatic conditions ensure that their dairy products are the very best - which makes it difficult, but not impossible, to compete with.
Despite this competition, Hart Dairy is proud to have signed some significant deals with some of the worlds largest dairy companies to supply 30,000 metric tons of grass-fed skim milk powder for the Asian market. This opportunity alone is worth in excess of $120M USD annually and will be one of the foundations of our sales going forward.
On the fluid milk side, Hart dairy has signed a memorandum of understanding with a China based company to supply them with one container of whole milk a day. All of these opportunities are very exciting for Hart Dairy but there is a significant amount of work and planning that is required to be able to implement these contracts.
A good example of what is required to fulfill the skim milk powder opportunity: we would need to produce in excess of 300 tanker loads of milk a week. The logistic component to organize not only transport but a schedule of when milk is to be picked up from numerous farms, then delivered is extremely complex and at 300 tanker loads a week means coordinating 60 tankers a day is not that easy.
As a consequence of these international orders, there has been an acceleration of our plans to complete stage two of our dairy plant which includes a milk drying facility. The bi-product of skim milk powder is cream which can be used for a number of products including butter, cream, cooking creams and half & half, just to name a few. Understanding which direction Hart decides to pursue will be the subject of a lot of conjecture and discussion with our retail partners in the US where we will look to maximize our returns.
Looking to develop international markets requires an understanding of what these markets want but also understanding what we are able to provide given that there are large logistical obstacles to overcome. Add to that, the mandatory certifications that each country requires impacts what products you can and cannot supply.
Sounds like fun – sure is!!