Joint-listed dairy giant Fonterra will pay down debt with the proceeds of a major sell-off of Chinese farms.
The New Zealand co-operative expects to make $NZ555 million ($A514 million) from the sale of two farming hubs and a majority stake in another farm to local interests.
Chief executive Miles Hurrell says the decision to sell two farming hubs in Ying and Yutian and a majority stake in a Hangu farm is in line with its strategy to focus on Kiwi products.
"For the last 18 months, we have been reviewing every part of the business to ensure our assets and investments meet the needs of the co-op today," he said.
"Selling the farms is in line with our decision to focus on our New Zealand farmers' milk."
Mr Hurrell said the decision should not be read as walking away from China.
"China remains one of Fonterra's most important strategic markets, receiving around a quarter of our production," he said.
"Selling the farms will allow us to focus even more on strengthening our foodservice, consumer brands and ingredients businesses in China ... bringing the goodness of New Zealand milk to Chinese customers in innovative ways."
Fonterra announced a "back to basics" strategy last year, reducing debt by more than $NZ1 billion last year, and paying a small dividend.
It is New Zealand's largest company and supplies more than a quarter of the world's dairy exports.