Yili joins hands with French polyol producer


Yili Industrial Group -- the largest dairy product producer in Asia -- signed a long-term cooperation agreement with the France-based Roquette Group, world's biggest polyols producer, in Beijing on Nov 6. 

Polyols are sugar replacers in a wide range of products, as part of a sugar free diet. They are used in sugar-free foods and products including chewing gums, candies, ice cream, baked goods and fruit spreads. Roquette is a family owned specialty food and nutrition ingredients company. 

Pan Gang, president of Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group and Edouard Roquette, chairman of Roquette, signed the agreement during a national-level economic forum. 

The agreement covers the purchase of Roquette products by Yili in the next three years and reinforces the existing business relationship between the two industrial giants in the Chinese food market. 

Company officials said Roquette and Yili will extend their cooperation to fields such as new product developments, technical optimization and food safety for the benefit of both companies. 

Edouard Roquette said that the agreement not only marked a new step in his company's relations with Yili, but also showed that the group's development in China had reached a new milestone. 

“China is a top priority for our company's development in the Chinese food market, which has impressive growth prospects,” he said.

“Our development strategy involving cooperation with Yili has proved to be successful over the past few years. We would like to continue the path and contribute to the development of the Chinese market.” 

Founded and headquartered in Lestrem in France in 1933, Roquette has grown into a leader in starch production in Europe. It produces more than 650 byproducts from starch extracted from corn, wheat, potatoes and peas. 

Yili Group has been steadily expanding its overseas business in recent years and continues to play a larger role in global markets. 

It initiated the Sino-US Food Wisdom Valley in the US in 2015 and established a cooperation laboratory with Wageningen University in the Netherlands last year. 

It acquired Westland Cooperative Dairy Company Limited, the second-largest dairy company in New Zealand, in August this year. This is expected to help Yili further strengthen its global production capacity and increase cooperation in the dairy industry. 

The company also signed a cooperation memorandum with Conaprole, the largest dairy company in Uruguay, in July -- and is expected to further cooperate with Uruguay in areas such as technological development and sustainable industrial development. 

Yili was ranked third in the 2019 list of the Top 50 Most Valuable Food Brands in the World, released by Brand Finance. 

It earned a net profit of nearly 4 billion yuan ($559 million) and a total operating revenue of 45.07 billion yuan in the first half of 2019, according to the group's interim results released on Aug 29.


Pan Gang, president of Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group and Edouard Roquette, chairman of French group Roquette, get together after the signing ceremony of a long-term cooperation agreement, in Beijing on Nov 6. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]