Dairy giants from the southern hemisphere have joined forces to launch the Global Dairy Alliance in Buenos Aires this week.

Farming industry representatives from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and New Zealand, said the aim of the alliance was to reinforce the efforts of governments in the Cairns Group to break down protectionism and trade-distorting subsidies.

Chief executive of New Zealand’s Fonterra, Craig Norgate, said the launch was an important step forward for non-subsidised producers. And that as the World Trade Organisation Doha development round enters a critical stage, it was important that the unsubsidised dairy producers of the world unite to defend and promote their interests.

Norgate added: “Dairy export subsidies worldwide cost the New Zealand dairy industry more than NZ$1bn in value annually. The Global Dairy Alliance’s key message is that there can be no outcome to the round without agriculture, and there can be no outcome on agriculture without significant progress on dairy.”

He concluded: “The number of Latin American members in the group reflects the importance of trade liberalisation to developing countries as a primary means of addressing poverty.”