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Review of Events in the Dairy Industry Worldwide in the First Half of 2024

World 07.07.2024
Source: The DairyNews
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The DairyNews presents a comprehensive review of events in dairy companies and enterprises for the first half of 2024. The editorial board gathered the events of dairy companies from all over the world. If you want to share your event, write to us!
Review of Events in the Dairy Industry Worldwide in the First Half of 2024
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January

USA:

Molly Pelzer, CEO of Midwest Dairy, officially announced her retirement, effective March 2024. Pelzer joined Midwest Dairy in 1984 as a program director working with schools and dairy nutrition programs, holding various leadership roles since.

Chicago-based Archer-Daniels-Midland announced a deal to acquire Revela Foods, a developer and producer of dairy flavors in Wisconsin.

China:

Pinlive Foods, the Chinese owner of the imported dairy brand Weidendorf, began producing its own cheese in December. The company's first factory, located in Shanghai, includes two cheddar cheese production lines.

Cathay Capital announced a strategic partnership with French dairy company Savencia Fromage and Dairy to expand Savencia's presence in China. The partnership involves Cathay investing in the Chinese brand Savencia Baijifu, which includes more than 50 types of cheeses and dairy products.

Australia:

Nutura Organic, a dry dairy product manufacturer, is expanding its presence in Vietnam and Thailand. In Vietnam, Nutura, in partnership with Natural Foods Group, produces various products ranging fr om pregnancy formulas and regular infant formulas to organic infant formulas. In Thailand, the company announced a distribution agreement with Thai food producer CP Foods to introduce Nutura products in the country.

Europe:

Ornua Nutrition Ingredients, part of Ornua Ingredients Europe, announced plans to sell its dry products business in the UK to Roger Wertheim-Ames, the founder of Aymes, a medical supplement manufacturer.

French company Danone signed an agreement to sell its Horizon Organic and Wallaby premium dairy operations in the USA to US-based investment firm Platinum Equity. In 2022, Horizon Organic and Wallaby accounted for about 3% of Danone's global revenue. Danone will retain an unconsolidated minority stake in the business.

UK company Volac International agreed to sell its milk replacer business to Dutch Denkavit Group, making Denkavit the sole owner of Volac's milk replacer sales organization and Volac Socoor's business in Italy.

Irish company Lakeland Dairies announced plans to expand its liquid milk plant in Killeshandra, Co. Cavan, increasing milk intake by nearly 20% and expanding warehousing, packaging, and loading facilities.

Lactalis opened a new solar power plant expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 7%, or about 2000 tons annually. The solar thermal plant will provide heat to the adjacent dairy plant in Verdun.

FrieslandCampina Ingredients identified key trends expected to shape the coming year in the food, beverage, and nutrition industry, as consumers turn to proper nutrition for comfort and control in a turbulent world. In its report "Nutrition Trends 2024," the Dutch dairy cooperative highlighted trends such as sustainable nutrition, accessible and customized nutrition, innovations in high-calorie proteins, gut health improvement, and healthy aging and recovery.

Additionally, Japanese company Meiji announced it is doubling its investment in Danone's infant formula plant in Wexford, Ireland. The company added €10.5 million ($11.4 million) in new funding, increasing the total investment to €22.5 million ($24.5 million). The money will go towards increasing production capacity to meet growing demand.

Hong Kong investment company PAG Private Equity agreed to acquire a controlling stake in Food Union Europe, a Latvian ice cream and frozen dairy product supplier to consumers in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Denmark, Norway, and Romania.

Danone announced plans to close its dairy and plant-based yogurt production plant in Parets del Vallès, north of Barcelona, Spain, to improve production efficiency.

Mexico, Chile:

Danone announced it would invest €100 million ($109 million) in its operations in Mexico in 2024. The financial commitments include supporting the company's "Margarita Project," which has provided tools, training, and technology to over 500 milk producers in the country to ensure the quality of milk used in the production of Danone yogurts in Mexico.

Chilean tech company NotCo can continue using the word "milk" on its NotMilk labels after a recent ruling found that the company clearly states that its product is not milk. The appellate court dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Los Rios Milk Producers Association, alleging that NotCo was guilty of unfair competition due to the use of the word in its plant-based drinks.

Israel:

Imagindairy, a food production specialist, announced the acquisition and commissioning of its own industrial-scale precision fermentation lines for dairy ingredient production. The company plans to significantly increase capacity in the next two years.

February

Russia:

Russian vertically integrated dairy producer EkoNiva Group opened a new office in Xi'an, China. This move aims to increase dairy product exports to China by raising brand awareness, expanding the product range, and improving supply chains through the use of rail transport in the region.

Africa:

The Value4Dairy consortium, comprising four strategic partners led by the Dutch cooperative FrieslandCampina, received a $5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to enhance the productivity and sustainability of Nigeria's dairy sector. The consortium will create three self-sufficient dairy zones managed by local farmer cooperatives, serving as hubs for training and supporting 10,000 herders and smallholders, with the goal of expanding to 40,000 milk producers. FrieslandCampina WAMCO will collect the milk for processing, while consortium partners provide farmers with access to the latest feed, breeding, sustainable farming practices, and market channels to sustainably increase milk production at lower costs.

Australia and New Zealand:

Australia's Fonterra launched a project to eliminate the cardboard packaging used for transporting Perfect Italiano Mozzarella cheese from the production site in Stanhope to the recycling site in Melbourne, wh ere it is shredded. The "Naked Mozz" initiative will reduce the annual amount of cardboard used for the trip by 330 tons, saving more than NZD 825,000 ($505,000) annually. Separately, Fonterra announced plans to install a 20-megawatt electrode boiler at its Edendale plant on New Zealand's South Island. The expected investment of NZD 36 million ($22 million) will reduce site emissions by approximately 20% annually.

Australian dairy producers Margaret River Dairy Co. and Mundella Foods returned to local ownership after reportedly being acquired by Australian dairy company The Cheeky Cow. The two dairies were closed by their Chinese owner Bright Foods Group last year when the company said it could not find a buyer.

New Zealand dairy cooperative Fonterra announced the merger of its Fonterra Brands New Zealand and Fonterra Australia business units. The new unified organization will be called Fonterra Oceania and will be led by Rene Dedoncker, who has been Managing Director of Fonterra Australia since 2017.

USA:

The Kansas Dairy Ingredients (KDI) plant in Hugoton unexpectedly closed just two and a half years after KDI invested more than $40 million in expanding the plant, which employed over 100 people and produced cheese and butter.

Europe/China:

Arla Foods revealed it is in talks to buy the Semper plant in Sweden fr om Swiss Hero Group, which will close due to changing market conditions. Arla already owns a cheese and butter factory near the Semper plant and is interested in buying the land, production buildings, and part of the equipment.

Following the news of Food Union Europe's acquisition by a private equity firm, Andrey Beskhmelnitsky, CEO of the Latvian frozen dairy product supplier, discussed the associated spinoff of the group's Chinese business. In an interview, Beskhmelnitsky said Food Union China, which will become an independent organization, will focus on developing B2B business and its own protein-enriched products in China.

Irish dairy cooperative Ornua appointed Conor Galvin as its new CEO. Galvin, who was CEO of Irish company Dairygold, assumed his duties in May.

Danone opened a new beverage plant recently converted from dairy to plant-based. The plant, equipped with two production lines, took two years to renovate but was upgraded to meet consumer demand and is now Danone's only plant in France producing oat flour and oat drinks.

Arla Foods reported that a subdued consumer market in the first half of the year was followed by brand sales growth in the second half. The farmer cooperative reported 2023 revenues of €13.7 billion ($14.75 billion), slightly below the previous year's €13.8 billion. Net profit was €380 million ($410 million).

Finnish dairy company Valio announced the launch of a new research, development, and innovation project aimed at "creating a Finnish food system based on the rational use of natural resources, wh ere growth, profitability, and added value are based on sustainable production." The five-year initiative, worth €100 million ($108 million), known as "Food 2.0," aims to increase exports related to the food system by more than €1 billion ($1.1 billion) after its completion.

Scottish dairy cooperative First Milk completed the acquisition of Blackmore Vale Dairy, a UK chilled dairy products manufacturer.

German company Döhler entered a manufacturing partnership with Delaware-based fermentation company Superbrewed Food to help the startup scale up production of its postbiotic protein ingredient.

China:

Yili Group's new ice cream factory in Huanggang City, Hubei Province, began production. The new plant, Yili's fourth in the province, primarily produces high-quality ice cream and frozen dairy products with a capacity of 100,000 tons per year. The company estimates the plant's annual revenue to be $277.84 million.

USA and Latin American Countries:

Irish dairy cooperative Ornua appointed Lindsay Brady as president of Ornua Foods North America. According to the company, Brady, recently general manager of Conagra Brands, will be responsible for "implementing ambitious growth plans" for the Kerrygold butter brand in the USA and Latin America.

Nestlé announced plans to close its dairy plant in Matagalpa, Nicaragua. The plant mainly produces dairy products under the Swiss company's Prolacsa brand, which officials say will move its operations to other facilities in Latin America.

Israel:

Animal-free Remilk received a "No Objection Letter" fr om Health Canada, allowing the startup to sell its animal-free beta-lactoglobulin protein in Canada.

March

Europe:

FrieslandCampina's revenue in 2023 fell by 7.1% to €13 billion ($14 billion), which the company attributed to adverse currency conversion effects, the sale of part of its consumer business in Germany, and declining sales volumes in consumer markets due to high inflation. The cooperative's operating profit last year fell by 84.1% to €75 million, due to discrepancies between the guaranteed milk price of cooperative members and market prices for dairy products.

Kerry Group's revenue for 2023 fell by 8.6% to €8.020 billion ($8.7 billion), while post-tax profit increased to €728.1 million ($787.4 million). The revenue decline was partly due to a drop in sales and production volumes in the Dairy Ireland division. Revenue and overall EBITDA decreased due to limited supplies and increased raw material costs, affecting market demand dynamics. CEO Edmond Scanlon stated that the company would continue to "selectively invest" in the dairy business. The company sees emerging markets, sustainable nutrition, and the food service sector as key business differentiators.

Savencia Fromage & Dairy Group reported a 3.7% increase in sales to €6.8 billion in 2023, despite a 3.7% decline in the fourth quarter. The French dairy group attributed this growth to organic growth of 11.6% and a structural effect of 2.1%, related to the consolidation of Williner's activities since April 2023. Operating profit fell to €212.9 million, down 9.1% from 2022, due to falling raw material and energy prices and declining prices for industrial products.

Danone announced plans to sell its Russian business to a government-appointed management team member for RUB 17.7 billion ($192 million). This move came after Russian authorities seized Danone's local businesses in July last year in response to foreign sanctions imposed in retaliation for Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Initially, Danone stated it would remain in the region after the war began but decided to seek a buyer after seeing a decline in financial performance. The deal, reportedly priced 56% below market value, is subject to approval by the Russian Ministry of Agriculture and a special subcommittee that makes decisions on the exit of Western companies.

At the end of the month, Danone reported a 7% increase in revenue to €27.6 million ($30 million) in 2023, driven by a 7.4% increase in prices. The production of essential dairy products and plant proteins (EDP) was recognized as a key factor in Danone's success, allowing the company to achieve positive results by increasing production volumes and assortment. There was also increased competitiveness in China, North Asia, and Oceania. CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique stated that 2023 was a year of consistent progress and decisive results in implementing Danone's renewal program.

Nestle's total sales for 2023 decreased by 1.5% to CHF 93 billion ($106 billion), which the company attributed to currency fluctuations.

Arla Foods announced it would close its bankrupt dairy plant in 2025 and move "most" of its cheese production to its Taulov facility, about 80 kilometers from the city. The company stated that the emergency facility, which will close in 2026, requires "significant investments" to meet future safety, health, and quality standards.

In its 2023 financial year results, Emmi Group reported that revenue for the 2023 financial year increased by 0.3% compared to the previous year, and adjusted net profit increased by 9.3% compared to 2022 (considering a one-time loss from the sale of Gläserne Molkerei and a profit from the sale of a minority stake in Ambrosi). The company attributed its positive results to continued focus on strategic markets and attractive niches, including premium chilled desserts in the USA and Italy, as well as "important emerging markets such as Chile and Mexico."

Irish company Lakeland Dairies completed the acquisition of Belgian fat-and-oil enterprise De Brandt Dairy International NV. British company Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses acquired Hampshire Cheese as part of a project to expand the dairy cooperative's product range and geographic reach.

A year after Dutch FrieslandCampina took over most of the German dairy business, German dairy company Theo Müller announced it would close its Heilbronn and Schefflenz-Landliebe production sites by summer 2026. Müller cited cost reductions, investment requirements, and a challenging market situation as reasons for the closures. The company plans to transfer yogurt and dessert production under the Landliebe brand to other facilities in Germany.

Danish dairy cooperative Arla Foods announced it would invest €210 million ($228 million) in developing mozzarella cheese production at its Tau Valley facility in the UK. The investment, the largest in Arla's history in the UK, will allow the company to improve technologies and better meet customer demands for specific characteristics such as toasting, melting, or stretching. Most of the mozzarella produced at the Tau Valley plant will be exported to food service customers worldwide.

Australia and New Zealand:

New Zealand's a2 Milk Co. reported a 3.7% increase in revenue and a 15.6% increase in net profit after tax for the first half of 2024. The company's report highlights strong performance in the Chinese market, accounting for approximately 80% of its brand's sales.

Australian Bega Cheese announced it would close its Betta Milk and Pyengana dairy plants in Burnie, Tasmania, and transfer the production of these brands to one of its other facilities in Tasmania.

Australian dairy processor Beston Global Food Co. reported disappointing profits for the first half of 2024, with a net loss after tax of AUD 18.8 million ($12.4 million) for the first half of the 2023 financial year. Net sales from continuing operations fell by 4.2% for the same period compared to the previous year.

India

Jayen Mehta, Managing Director of Amul India, has shared the company's ambitious vision to become the biggest dairy in the world, economictimes.indiatimes writes. Despite already exporting to nearly 50 countries, Amul is determined to further expand its global presence. Mehta highlighted Amul's robust distribution network and deep penetration into rural areas, emphasizing their increasing presence in towns with populations of 5,000 and 10,000. The company's product mix, coupled with value-for-money pricing in small packs, has been a driving force behind growing demand.

Mehta expressed confidence in achieving remarkable financial results, with revenue expected to reach Rs 80,000 crore for the year ending March. Last year's turnover was approximately Rs 55,000 crore, and the company is poised to surpass Rs 60,000 crore. Amul's sustained double-digit growth has positioned it as a formidable player in the dairy industry, and the company plans to capitalize on this momentum in the years ahead. 

USA and Latin American Countries:

Minnesota-based Midwest Dairy, representing the interests of more than 4,000 dairy farmers in 10 states, appointed Cory Scott as its new CEO. Scott has over 15 years of experience in the food and agriculture industry, including a vice president of sales and marketing role at Athian and several leadership positions at Land O'Lakes and its sustainability division Truterra LLC.

Nestlé is selling its manufacturing facility and distribution center in Cayambe, Ecuador, to Peruvian Grupo Gloria. In addition to the equipment, the deal includes the La Vaquita, Yogu Yogu, Natura, Cereavena, and Huesitos brands, as well as the licensing of international brands La Lechera and Svelty. Grupo Gloria, which acquired Fonterra Co-operative Group's dairy assets in Chile in 2022, said the Nestlé purchase further strengthens its position in the Latin American portfolio.

Ornua Ingredients is closing its processed cheese plant in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, citing the unexpected termination of a production agreement with its sole customer.

Arkansas-based retail giant Walmart is building a milk processing plant in Robinson, Texas. The company stated that products from the new plant (its third) would be supplied to more than 750 Walmart and Sam's Club stores across the South, enabling Walmart to "meet growing customer demand for high-quality milk while ensuring transparency about the sources of its products and building a more resilient supply chain."

April

Qatar and Algeria:

Qatar-based vertically integrated dairy company Baladna and the Algerian government intend to sign an agreement to increase powdered milk production in the country by 200,000 tons annually.

Europe:

In response to the sale of its Russian assets due to the government's seizure of assets in the country, French food giant Danone initiated the liquidation of DanoneBel, its last subsidiary in Belarus.

India

Amul Dairy, the Gujarat-based Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union Ltd., has reported its highest-ever business turnover of Rs 12,880 crore for the fiscal year 2023-24, marking an impressive 9 percent surge compared to the preceding financial year. 

China:

Modern Farming Group increased raw milk sales by over 9% year-over-year to 2.55 million tons in 2023. The company's revenue grew by 9.5% to $1.86 billion, but net profit fell by 68% year-over-year to $26 million, which the company attributed to falling raw milk and beef prices.

In 2023, China Shengmu's revenue increased by 5.5% to $486 million, but net profit fell by 79% year-over-year to less than $12 million.

Australia and New Zealand:

Synlait Milk Ltd. missed a debt repayment deadline of NZD 130 million ($77 million) on March 28 due to ongoing difficulties. The company, seeking a letter of support from its largest shareholder, Chinese Bright Dairy, received an extension to repay the debt by July 15. Synlait's half-year 2024 report indicated further challenges ahead. Despite a 3% revenue increase, the company reported a net loss of NZD 96 million ($57 million) for the six months ended January 31, 2024.

Lactalis is consolidating its yogurt and dessert divisions in Australia by closing its Echuca plant in Victoria and moving production to Bendigo, Victoria. The company also announced an AUD 85 million ($56 million) investment in its supply chain in Victoria over the next three years.

New Zealand dairy cooperative Fonterra announced the closure of two dairy processing plants in Waikato as part of resource reallocation towards higher-value products. Fonterra cited aging production facilities and declining productivity for the closures of the Waitoa PDC (specialty powder production) and coal center, as well as two dryers in Te Rapa.

New Zealand company Westland Milk Products reported a profit of NZD 56 million ($33 million) in 2023. The company attributed the record profit to strong sales of high-value dairy products such as butter. Westland CEO Richard Wyeth stated that support from China's Yili Group allowed Westland to invest in infrastructure to maximize returns from high-margin products, including a new lactoferrin plant at the company's Hokitika site.

Canada:

Canadian dairy producer Royal Milk received approval from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada to begin producing infant formulas at its Kingston, Ontario facility. The company, founded by Chinese Feihe Milk in 2019, said the first batch of infant formula is expected to hit the Canadian market this summer.

USA and Latin American Countries:

Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA), based in Oregon, announced that President and CEO Patrick Criteser plans to retire this year. TCCA's board of directors chose David Booth, TCCA's current executive vice president for brand development and commercialization, to succeed Criteser in the farmer cooperative. TCCA stated that this move aligns with its long-standing succession plan. Criteser, who has led Tillamook since 2012, will remain CEO until the end of the year, while Booth will immediately take over as president.

Brazilian subsidiary of Emmi Group, Laticínios Porto Alegre, will acquire a controlling stake in Verde Campo dairy, a Coca-Cola-owned producer of dairy products, including yogurts and dairy drinks made from whey protein. Emmi stated that the deal would consolidate and enhance its position in the Brazilian market while "enhancing the value of our portfolio through a strong brand and focus on functional premium dairy products."

May

Europe:

Finnish company Valio announced it would close two of its food and beverage production facilities in Finland and transfer them to its Riihimäki plant, wh ere fresh dairy products and plant-based snacks under the Valio Oddlygood brand are currently produced. The company stated that closing the two sites would "improve production efficiency and profitability."

Danish Arla Foods Ingredients reached an agreement to acquire the business of British dairy company Volac, which specializes in producing whey ingredients for sports nutrition.

In response to a decline in milk production, Irish dairy cooperative Dairygold announced it would cut cheese production in the coming summer months. The processor said this decision was made in response to a 9% year-over-year decline in milk production this year and an expected 7% decline for the entire year.

In its 2023 financial year results, French dairy giant Lactalis reported a 4.3% revenue increase compared to the previous year to €29.5 billion ($31.5 billion) and a "weak" 11% increase in consolidated net profit to €428 million ($457 million). The company cited changes in consumer purchasing behavior due to inflation, including increased demand for private labels. Lactalis also noted a slight increase in profit margins due to "organic growth and continued strengthening of Lactalis' positions in North America."

According to the latest annual report from Irish company Lakeland Dairies, revenue for 2023 fell by €300,000 to €1.6 billion ($1.7 billion), and operating profit dropped from €32.5 million ($35 million) to €14.8 million ($16 million) compared to the previous year. The dairy cooperative stated that these results were significantly impacted by the "collapse of the global dairy market."

In its 2023 financial year results, Irish dairy cooperative Ornua reported a nearly 1% decline in turnover compared to 2022 and an 8% drop in operating profit. The owner of the Kerrygold brand called the results "high marks" in light of "ongoing market pressures and changing consumer demand and buying behavior across all key markets." As part of its global brand development efforts, Ornua opened a new flagship butter production facility in 2023, doubling Kerrygold Park's cream processing capacity and allowing for the production of about 1 million packs per day.

Aurivo Dairy Ingredients reported a 16.4% revenue decline compared to the record 2022 and a 71.4% drop in operating profit. While the company stated that its dairy ingredients business faced a "very challenging" 2023 due to market conditions, its commercial and new product development team continues to "pursue our strategic goal of expanding our product and customer base." Examples noted in the report include growth in Central America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, which now account for more than 40% of annual sales, as well as two new Aurivo powder brands gaining popularity in global markets.

Arrabawn reported a 20% decline in turnover in 2023 and record operating profit, which increased by 12.5% compared to the previous year. The cooperative cited challenging weather conditions and high input costs as reasons for the revenue decline but noted that despite market downturns, 2023 was "one of the most successful years in Arrabawn's history." CEO Conor Ryan said that significant investments made in Arrabawn's production business, including new production and a milk intake zone at its headquarters, contributed to the performance.

After purchasing a 10% stake in Lithuanian dairy company Rokiškio Sūris in 2017, New Zealand dairy cooperative Fonterra announced it would sell its shares as part of a "strategic long-term investment review." Rokiškio Sūris, which produces butter, cheese, milk powder, and whey protein, plans to buy back the shares this month, valued at €7.9 million ($8.5 million).

British dairy cooperative Dale Farm announced it would invest £70 million ($75 million) in its cheddar processing facility in Dunmanbridge, Northern Ireland. The expansion will include advanced technology and equipment, which the company said will increase production by 20,000 tons annually to meet growing customer demand in the UK, Europe, and beyond.

Irish dairy cooperative Tirlán reported 2023 results, which the company described as "reflecting sustainable performance during an extremely challenging year for Irish dairy, grain, and agriculture overall." Turnover fell by 17% compared to the previous year, which the company attributed to falling commodity prices. Profit fell by 5%, and the company cited factors such as inflationary pressure and its commitment to supporting farmers during a difficult year.

Dutch company FrieslandCampina moved its UK headquarters and opened a new technology center in Malaysia as part of its overseas operations modernization.

The UK division of Danish Arla Foods announced plans to invest more than £300 million ($324 million) in five of its UK facilities in 2024. The investments will upgrade and expand Arla's dairies to create more opportunities for the production of British milk and cheese.

Finnish company Valio is investing more than €60 million ($65.2 million) in expanding its cheese plant in Lapinlahti. The investment includes expanding existing production facilities by about 22,000 square feet, replacing outdated production equipment, updating packaging operations and equipment, and building a new power substation and backup power system.

To meet growing global demand for medical nutrition, French dairy giant Danone invested €70 million ($76 million) in its production in Steenvoorde, France. Most of the investment (about $65 million) will be directed towards producing approximately 30 formulations of oral nutritional supplements as part of the Nutricia specialized nutrition line.

Italian dairy group Sabelli acquired Italian cheese producer Stella Bianca from Mila Cooperative.

India/USA

Amul Milk Makes U.S. Debut, Partners with Michigan Milk Producers Association.  Amul, the renowned Indian dairy cooperative, has officially introduced its popular milk products to the U.S. market. Announced through a recent advertisement, Amul's product range in the U.S. mirrors that available in India. 

USA:

Dallas-based Daisy Brand plans to build a new sour cream and cottage cheese processing plant in Boone, Iowa. The $708 million investment will create 255 jobs.

A few weeks after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Chicago, Illinois-based Oberweis Dairy announced plans to close its North Aurora, Illinois plant. Oberweis also stated that it received an offer to buy its production assets from the founder of Chicago-based Dutch Farms Dairy.

Darigold appointed Allan Hattum as its new CEO. In December, Hattum was appointed interim CEO, replacing Joe Kuta, who left the dairy company and returned to his native Australia.

Minneapolis-based General Mills is reportedly considering selling its North American yogurt business, including the Yoplait brand. Insiders estimate the deal could potentially be worth $2 billion.

Mars Inc. announced a sustainable dairy production plan as part of its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% by 2030. Under this plan, which will allocate $47 million over three years, Mars will collaborate with a group of industry partners to implement farm measures aimed at reducing enteric methane, effective manure use, and sustainable feed production.

In the USA, French dairy giant Danone completed the acquisition of Functional Formularies, an Ohio-based whole foods tube feeding company.

Mexican ice cream producer Tropicale Foods announced it is closing its Modesto, California plant and moving production to existing facilities in Lubbock, Texas, and Ontario, California. The closure, which will affect about 300 employees, is expected on July 19.

China:

On May 31, 2024, Tetra Pak signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Yili Group in Lausanne, Switzerland, as part of a strategic move to further strengthen its market position.

Japanese company Meiji held a ceremony to celebrate the launch of its new $90 million ice cream plant in Shanghai.

Chinese Yili Industrial Group Co. reported a record operating income of CNY 126.2 billion ($17.6 billion) in 2023. The company reported that its liquid milk business generated an operating income of CNY 85.5 billion ($11.9 billion), and revenue from powdered milk and dairy products increased by 5% compared to the previous year. Yili also reported that its overseas business grew by 10% year-over-year, with products sold in more than 60 countries and regions, including notable growth in Southeast Asia and Africa.

Dubai-based Emirates Industry for Camel Milk and Products, operating under the name Camelicious, is investing in Asian expansion, focusing on China. The company claims that demand for camel milk in China has exceeded domestic demand in the UAE. Currently, two-thirds of the camel milk powder produced by Camelicious is exported to China. "In recent years, we have also increased our exports to Singapore and Malaysia and are now looking to expand our presence in markets such as Japan and South Korea," said CEO Mutasher A. Lateef Albaderi.

Meiji Holdings lowered its forecasted profit due to impairment losses, which the dairy company said it incurred "on long-term assets related to the production of drinking milk and yogurts managed by subsidiaries in China." In a statement filed with the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Meiji said: "Sales conditions for drinking milk and yogurts in China have changed significantly. Price competition in the market has intensified, leading to reduced profitability."

China Mengniu Dairy Co. announced significant leadership changes, effective May 22, 2024. Mr. Chen Lang will step down as a non-executive director and chairman of the company's board, as well as from the nomination and strategy and development committees, due to changes in his professional duties.

Shanghai Milkground Food Tech's net profit in 2023 fell by nearly 54%, and revenue by 16% compared to the previous year. The company reported that rising raw material costs led to a decline in gross profit in the cheese segment year-over-year. Revenue from ready-to-eat foods (such as cheese lollipops) and "culinary cheese" (e.g., cheese slices) declined.

Mengniu Dairy's profit in 2023 fell by 9%, which the company attributed to rising tax expenses and declining profits. Revenue increased by 6.5% to $13.6 billion. The company reported that its core liquid milk business continues to grow, partly due to increased market share through its flagship "Milk Deluxe" product.

In its 2023 financial year report, China Feihe reported an 8% decline in group revenue and a 33% drop in profit compared to the previous year. The Chinese organization blamed the low birth rate in China and high competition in the dairy industry for this. Feihe's infant formula business, which accounts for more than 90% of its total business, saw a 10% revenue decline.

New Zealand and Australia:

New Zealand cooperative group Fonterra announced it is exploring options to sell its global consumer business and integrated Fonterra Oceania and Fonterra Sri Lanka companies, which generated combined revenues of NZD 7.2 billion ($4.7 billion) in 2023. "We believe we can further enhance the cooperative's value by becoming a B2B dairy supplier, closely working with customers through our high-quality ingredients and foodservice channels," said CEO Miles Hurrell.

Canada:

Canadian company Saputo announced that President and CEO Lino Saputo would transition to Executive Chairman of the Board later this year. The company announced that Carl Colizza, currently President and Chief Operating Officer in North America, will become the new President and CEO. Colizza joined Saputo in 1998 as an engineer and has held several leadership positions in the dairy division, including leading the dairy divisions in Canada and Argentina.

June

Australia and New Zealand:

New Zealand dairy producer Synlait Milk continues to face challenges as it grapples with high costs, declining sales, and unpaid debt. More than half of the 300 suppliers reportedly notified the company of their intention to cease milk deliveries after their current contracts expire.

Oceania Dairy incurred a NZD 19 million ($12 million) loss for the year ended December 2023, with revenue down 14% compared to the previous year.

Australian Dairy Nutritionals appointed Mahi Sundaranathan as its new CEO. Sundaranathan, who replaced recently retired CEO Peter Skeen, has over 20 years of experience in international markets, including leadership roles at a2 Milk Co., Danone MG Australia, and Fonterra brands Australia.

Fonterra announced several changes to its leadership team. To help the cooperative change strategic direction, Richard Allen, president of Fonterra in the Atlantic, was appointed president of Global Markets Ingredients, and Rene Dedoncker, managing director of Fonterra Oceania, was appointed managing director of Global Markets Consumer and Foodservice. Additionally, the cooperative announced that Emma Parsons, managing director of strategy and optimization, was appointed CEO of Kotahi Logistics LP, a joint venture between Fonterra and Silver Fern Farms.

Canadian dairy company Saputo completed the sale of its fresh milk processing facilities in Laverton North, Victoria, and Erskine Park, New South Wales, to Australian supermarket, retail, and home service network Coles Group Ltd. The company stated that the deal, valued at approximately CAD 95 million ($70 million), is part of an overall optimization strategy.

Europe:

Dutch company Lady Milk Industries Berhad (DLMI), a subsidiary of Netherlands-based Royal FrieslandCampina (RFC), opened a new dairy plant in Malaysia, which the company said could double production capacity to meet growing demand for high-quality and nutritious dairy products in the region.

Müller UK & Ireland, the UK division of German dairy producer Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller, is acquiring Yew Tree Dairy, a West Lancashire-based dry milk, fresh milk, and cream producer. Müller plans to leverage Yew Tree's dry milk production capabilities (Yew Tree operates a drying plant in Skelmersdale, West Lancashire) to become a major dry dairy product producer and exporter.

Swedish company Oatly, specializing in alternative dairy products, confirmed that it has abandoned plans to build its first UK drink manufacturing plant.

Citing declining milk production volumes, German dairy cooperative DMK Group announced it would close its plant in Dargun and reduce capacity at its facilities in Edewecht, Hohenwestedt, and Everswinkel. The company plans to implement measures affecting approximately 150 employees by spring 2025.

Lactalis is closing its production facility in Mercurea Ciuc, Romania, focusing on its remaining four facilities in the country.

Irish company Kerry Group opened a new cheese plant in Charleville, County Cork. The new plant, expected to increase production by 50%, received financial support from the Irish government under the agricultural products capital investment program.

French dairy giant Danone announced its mid-term strategy and value creation plans for 2025-2028, which include developing fundamental scientific knowledge and innovation, production discipline, and an initiative portfolio. The company stated it would focus more on health and proper nutrition, gradually changing its category approach.

German dairy processor DMK agreed to acquire the remaining stake in Polish sales and distribution business Mlekoma Dairy from its venture partner, Saudi Arabia-based Saudia Dairy & Foodstuff Co.

German dairy company Ehrmann acquired Cornwall, England-based Trewithen Dairy.

USA:

Idaho-based Suntado opened a 190,000 sq. ft. production facility at its headquarters in Burley. The new plant can process over 450 tons of raw milk per day, converting it into shelf-stable milk and dairy semifinished products, as well as other liquid dairy products.

Saputo Inc., a well-known Canadian dairy producer, announced during its 2024 financial results review that it would close six of its facilities in the USA. The company plans to implement a strategy focusing on cheese production. This includes closing plants in Lancaster and Green Bay, Wisconsin; Tulare and South Gate, California; and facilities in Big Stone, South Dakota, and Belmont, Wisconsin, which are already closed. At the same time, Saputo is expanding its automated slicing and packaging facility in Franklin, Wisconsin, indicating a shift to more technological production processes.

Canada:

In its fourth quarter and financial year results for the year ending March 31, 2024, Canadian dairy producer Saputo reported a 1.7% revenue increase and a 42.1% net profit decline. Looking ahead, the company stated that it expects global dairy demand to remain moderate, alongside declining global dairy prices due to macroeconomic conditions.

Southeast Asia:

Japanese probiotic beverage producer Yakult Honsha will open a second plant in the Philippines to meet growing demand for its Yakult probiotic milk beverage. The $34 million facility, located in El Salvador City, is expected to eventually produce about 2.8 million bottles per day after "production upgrades."

Cooperative group Fonterra is building a new applications center in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. This will be Fonterra's sixth such center in China, expected to open in September this year.
July 2024
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