CHINA – Fonterra, multinational dairy co-operative, has confirmed the appointment of Teh-han Chow to the role of Chief Executive Officer of Greater China.

Since December 2019, Teh-han has been at the helm in an acting capacity, overseeing the Co-op’s overall Greater China business, including Ingredients, Foodservice, Consumer Brands and China Farms.

“He’s made an impressive contribution. It’s certainly not been a steady-state. Teh-han has been responsible for implementation of our new strategy across the Greater China business, and over the course of this calendar year, has shown outstanding resilience, resourcefulness and empathy in getting his team and our China business through the ongoing challenge of the COVID-19 global pandemic,” said Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell.

“Teh-han’s leadership has helped keep us in good shape during a very challenging set of circumstances, and I’m delighted to welcome him formally to the Fonterra Management Team – it’s well deserved.”

Teh-han has extensive experience leading large organisations in the food sector, as well as proven ability in business growth through innovation and putting customers front and centre

Previously, he headed up Fonterra’s NZMP Ingredients business for Greater China, South & East Asia, where he embedded sustained improvements in business performance, strong customer relationships and empowering leadership.

Before joining Fonterra in 2015, Teh-han was the CEO of Louis Dreyfus in China, a leading merchant and processor of agricultural goods. He was also Managing Director Greater China for Simplot, a food and agribusiness company.

The appointment comes days after Fontera unveiled the Fonterra-ACC Shanghai Innovation Center to tap growing demand for new food and beverage offerings in China.

“This allows us to stay close to consumers and to respond to the market more quickly,” said Teh-Han Chow.

Some of the new offerings are also expected to debut at the third China International Import Expo in November.

“Innovation is our bloodline and there’s a clear request in China for novel taste and innovate products. We have to shorten the innovation cycle significantly to rapidly develop innovation,” said Fonterra China Chief Financial Officer Paul Washer.

In some cases, it can shorten the process from initial idea to commercial production to only several months, compared with several years before.

ACC, a certification and analysis test service provider, is capable of carrying out over 2,000 types of tests for nutritional elements and safety standards. The Fonterra team can get test and assessment results faster than before by working together in the innovation center.

A collaboration with ACC will cover categories like cream, yogurt, processed cheese, liquid dairy and milk powder.

Fonterra said its strategy is to build on the success of its food service, ingredients and consumer businesses in China and sell premium dairy to more people, online and in-store.

It’s also sharing innovations in China driven by local expertise with its global team to fuel its overall growth. Fonterra Chairman John Monaghan said in a statement that after an initial shock due to COVID-19, dairy consumption in China is recovering, with more people spending on food.

Its existing application centers in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu have helped it forge close ties with local food service customers like bakeries, cafes and tea shops.

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