GDT aims to contribute to European price discovery

Date: 06.02.2023Source: IDM

Shaun McCauley, Managing Director GDT Europe: For our global supply goal, we are seeking new sellers (photo: GDT)



Shaun McCauley, Managing Director GDT Europe: For our global supply goal, we are seeking new sellers (photo: GDT)

Global Dairy Trade has established a European presence in Europe. Based in Berlin, Shaun McCauley as Managing Director GDT Europe has been given the task to grow the business of the trading platform. IDM asked him about his targets.


IDM: Why does GDT need a physical European presence?

McCauley: Over the last few years GDT, with European Energy Exchange AG (EEX), has conducted extensive consultation with dairy industry participants in Europe (both sellers and buyers), to determine how we could make GDT more available to the European market. One of the key messages received from European participants was, for example, they need readily accessible local support from us, rather than receiving this from New Zealand, with a 12-hour time zone difference. That translated to GDT having a physical presence in Europe. We are here now and available and looking forward to meeting with and working closely with our European customers, prospects, and other dairy industry stakeholders. We also expect to have an increased presence at the various industry events held in Europe on a regular basis.

GDT’s increased focus in Europe is supported by the introduction of EEX as a shareholder alongside NZX and Fonterra. This new ownership structure provides GDT with an enduring foundation in Europe and strong links to the European dairy industry through the rapidly growing EEX dairy risk management instruments trading volumes.

IDM:  Wouldn‘t it be easier to just invite European dairy companies to take more part in GDT?

McCauley: Yes, we agree, and this is in essence what we are doing. We are proposing that more European dairy companies join the current GDT Events auction. We are making the GDT platform more attractive to European dairies by adapting it to better meet the needs of European participants. Key among these enhancements is the ability for sellers to list their products in Euro and for buyers to buy those products in Euro. This is, from our perspective, ideal for serving global export markets, and the large internal European market for dairy commodities. Product can still be offered in USD alongside this. We are also introducing an additional Incoterm addressing European preferences.

An advantage of bringing European sellers onto the current GDT Events auction is that it provides immediate access to a large pool of existing and active global and local buyers.

IDM: Why did you choose Berlin as the location?

McCauley: GDT is for the time being a relatively small business in respect to the number of staff, but we provide a service that discovers objective market prices that impact every corner of the dairy industry globally. At the heart of that service is our online digital GDT Events auction platform. The service and the technology behind that is fundamental to what we do. Yet more important than our technology are our people, who operate our auctions and develop that platform. Berlin has a thriving technology startup scene based on a large pool of young, creative, highly educated and skilled people. We view expanding access to such resources as key for our future growth.

IDM:  What is the trading volume GDT has with Europe, both selling and buying?

McCauley: Today, trading volumes from European sellers and buyers typically represent less than 10% of total GDT volumes. So, we are confident there is significant potential for growth for GDT in Europe.

IDM:  What do you want to achieve in Europe, maybe in terms of monetary sales or tonnage?

McCauley: We are pursuing a strategic plan focused on liquidity, global supply, and our internal agility and efficiency. For our global supply goal, we are seeking new sellers from all global milk pools to provide our bidders with more choice, enabling GDT to publish credible reference prices for more products and across more regions.

Europe has one of the largest milk pools, with a very large internal market for dairy products and is also the single largest dairy exporting region globally. It is therefore one of our priorities. During our research, European dairy participants expressed interest for new channels of price discovery in Europe beyond the current mechanisms. So, we are aiming to provide what the market is asking for here in Europe.

IDM: How many employees has GDT Europe at the start?

McCauley: Two Europe-based roles have been established. I have taken on responsibility as managing director GDT Europe. I will also continue to lead innovation and platform enhancements as GDT CTO from our new European headquarters in Berlin. A new senior VP global sales, Billy Quinn, has been appointed to lead our sales function from Europe. One of Billy’s priorities will be to develop and grow participation from European buyers and sellers. We expect to recruit two more people to the team in Europe during 2023. Beyond that, there is significant future potential for the team in Europe to expand.



photos GDT


Roland Sossna / IDM

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