Fonterra, the company behind Bega and Mainland has announced plans to purchase Dairy Country from Retail Food Group.

Fonterra, who currently holds a 23% market share of Australian retail cheese, announced the $19.23 million deal last week.

Dairy Country is a high volume processing facility which value adds and produces processed cheese products, such as grated and shaved cheese, for both domestic and export markets. It services both branded and supermarket private label goods.

Fonterra Australia Managing Director René Dedoncker said the acquisition would bolster its market position and allow the company to produce its secondary cheese processing in-house. This, she said, would both allow for more end-to-end control over cheese production and strengthen its integrated supply chain.

“This acquisition is a logical choice and further supports our strategy to be customer and consumer led, while ensuring we keep pace with the fast-growing cheese category in Australia,” Ms Dedoncker said.

“Dairy Country has two well-equipped secondary processing sites with capability across grating, shredding and block, as well as an experienced workforce.”

“Having this kind of capability in-house will enable efficiencies and allow us to make the most of opportunities for value creation and product innovation.”

The purchase will include Dairy Country’s processing and packing facilities in Melbourne’s Campbellfield and Tullamarine as well as related services, intellectual property and the Dairy Country trademark and branding and is subject to regulatory approval.

Fonterra has said it plans to retain the majority of Dairy Country’s existing staff.  

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