SHIJIAZHUANG, China -- Denver-based Leprino Foods Co. has received permission from the local government in Shijiazhuang (the capital of north China's Hebei Province) to begin constructing a cheese production plant there in early 2003.
According to the People's Daily, the plant will produce 60,000 tons of cheese annually once completed.
Leprino president Wesley J. Allen said that while the Chinese are only beginning to consume cheese in volume, the size and potential of the country's market is very promising.
The Chinese government has encouraged the development of its dairy industry over the last several years, leading more than 20 provinces and municipalities to establish production plants or farms.
Shijiazhuang has built a dairy farm in the city's suburbs, and the Sanlu Group, a well-known Chinese dairy enterprise, is based there.