The U.S. Dairy Exporter Blog: Market Analysis, Research & News

  • The 2017 Mid-Year Global Dairy Business Review

    By Mark O'Keefe July 5, 2017

    See the significant mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, new facilities, executive hires and marketing initiatives for the first six months of 2017.

    The U.S. Dairy Export Council's weekly newsletter, Global Dairy eBrief, tracks global dairy business developments and summarizes what's most important for our members. In January and July, we bundle all the newsy nuggets in a single article that provides a month-by-month snapshot of the top headlines. 

    We begin our 2017 Mid-Year Global Dairy Business Review with our January 5 newsletter and end with news from the June 29 edition. We put company names in bold for easy scanning.  

    To get similarly packaged news from the last two years, see our 2016 and 2015 reviews. Look for the complete 2017 Global Dairy Business Review in January.

     

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    Mengniu takes bigger slice of China Modern: China’s Mengniu Dairy increased its stake in milk producer China Modern Dairy from just over 25 percent to nearly 40 percent. The company reportedly paid $241 million for the additional shares, which it acquired from a joint venture controlled by CDH Fund IV and KKR China Growth Fund. Mengniu, which recently announced it would post a “substantial loss” in 2016, said the deal would help guarantee a stable supply raw milk. (Agrimoney.com, 1/5/17; Dow Jones Newswires, 1/4/17)

    French dairy giant Lactalis is reportedly looking to buy all outstanding shares of Parmalat and delist the company from the Milan Stock Exchange . . . Japan’s Asahi Group Holdings is selling its Chinese dairy farming and processing operations to New Hope Dairy, part of Chinese ag conglomerate New Hope Group . . . Switzerland’s Emmi acquired an 80-percent stake in Spanish goat’s milk processor Lácteos Caprinos and all of California-based goat’s milk company Jackson-Mitchell Inc. . . . Thailand’s CP Foods acquired Minnesota-based frozen foods maker Bellisio Foods and a 33 percent stake in Polish poultry supplier SuperDrob. (Company reports; Reuters, 12/27/16, Nikkei Asian Review, 12/22/16)

    Wyeth Nutrition launched a liquid growing-up-milk in China via e-commerce channels. The imported product targets children aged 3-plus . . . A Finnish court upheld a ruling that will see Valio pay a €70-million fine (about US$73 million) for anti-competitive practices . . . Fonterra is investing US$4.4 million to expand and improve efficiency at its Susumas manufacturing plant in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia . . . Australian infant formula and nutrition firm Bubs raised A$5 million in an IPO on the Australian stock exchange. The company, which specializes in goat’s milk products, plans to use the money to expand in China and Southeast Asia. (USDEC China office; Company reports; FoodNavigator-Asia.com, 1/3/16; Uutiset, 12/29/16)

    Australia’s Blue Lake opens infant formula facility: Chinese-owned Blue Lake Dairy Group completed phase 1 of a new infant and adult formula facility in Tantanoola, South Australia. Blue Lake will initially buy already-made powder and blend and package 20,000 tons annually at the plant. An A$50-million (about US$35-million) phase 2 will add milk powder drying capacity. The company plans to target China. (Food Magazine, 1/9/17)

    Mengniu expands offer for China Modern: Mengniu Dairy’s purchase of a bigger stake in China Modern Dairy last week triggered Hong Kong corporate rules requiring the company to make an offer to acquire all outstanding shares. The deal will cost an estimated $826 million on top of the $241 million the processor allocated the previous week. (USDEC China office)

    New McDonald’s Chinese franchisee plans 1,500 additional units: McDonald’s sold an 80 percent stake in its Chinese operations to a consortium headed by Chinese state-owned Citic Ltd. and U.S. private equity firm Carlyle Group. The deal is the latest in a series of franchise agreements from quick-service restaurant chains looking to grow the business while shedding the cost and liabilities associated with company-owned stores. After the Chinese announcement, McDonald’s said it was also looking to sell a significant stake in its Japanese business. The Chinese consortium plans to open 1,500 new stores over the next five years, on top of 2,600-plus McDonald’s units already in Mainland China and Hong Kong. (USDEC China office; Wall Street Journal, 1/12/17, 1/9/17)

    Bellamy’s renegotiates supply contract, ousts CEO: Troubled Australian infant formula company Bellamy’s Organic renegotiated supply contracts with New Zealand’s Fonterra Co-operative Group and Australia’s Bega Cheese to reduce minimum purchase amounts and limit further inventory buildup after Chinese sales fell significantly short of projections. The company then ousted CEO Laura McBain, replacing her temporarily with COO Andrew Cohen. Cohen cited changes to Chinese infant formula regulations for creating an environment of deep discounting and eroding Bellamy’s revenues. The company’s stock began trading again this week after a five-week halt. (The Australian, 1/12/17; Australian Financial Review, 1/11/17)

    Tetra Pak agreed to pay Parmalat €16 million (about US$17 million) to settle a 20-year-old dispute over alleged payment of “discounts” directly to Parmalat owners rather than the company. The agreement included no admission of liability . . . DuPont Nutrition & Health is investing $60 million to expand dairy culture production sites in France and Germany due to rising global demand for starter cultures. (DairyReporter.com, 1/11/17)

    Fonterra highlights cheese to Korea, new “white” butter to Middle East: New Zealand’s Fonterra Co-operative Group emphasized the progress of its efforts to channel more milk to high-value products with two announcements this week. The company is investing in a warehouse in South Korea to import and distribute more high-value products with a focus on cheese, including what is described as a new product “specifically designed for use on pizza.” The co-op highlighted the “huge potential” afforded by its rising duty-free cheese quota to South Korea under the New Zealand-Korea FTA. Separately, Fonterra touted a new “white” butter product it has begun marketing in the Middle East. Middle East processed cheese manufacturers prefer using white butter to the co-op’s standard deeper yellow butter produced from milk from grass-fed cows. Fonterra currently distributes the new butter in five Middle Eastern countries but plans to extend it to North Africa and South America. (Company reports)

    Bega buys Mondelez Australia, New Zealand grocery brands: Australia’s Bega Cheese paid A$460 million (about US$347 million) to acquire a range of Mondelez International’s Oceania grocery brands. The deal includes a Mondelez plant in Port Melbourne, Victoria, and Kraft branded cheese, mayonnaise and other products, but not Philadelphia cream cheese. (ABC Rural, 1/19/17)

    Germany’s Hochland buys Franklin Foods: German dairy processor Hochland acquired U.S. cream cheese maker Franklin Foods, including Franklin’s manufacturing plants in Arizona and Vermont. Hochland plans to use the business as a platform to bring its brands into the U.S. market. (Company news)

    FrieslandCampina opens Chinese foodservice demo center: FrieslandCampina opened a foodservice demo center in Shanghai—its only such facility outside company headquarters in the Netherlands. Technical experts and chefs will provide customer assistance on a range of projects, including new product development, application solutions, flavor testing and marketing. (USDEC China office)

    Leprino Foods Co. purchased a 49 percent stake in Brazil’s PICNIC Cheeses and Dairy Products . . . Switzerland’s Emmi acquired Italian dessert maker Italian Fresh Foods. Emmi expects the purchase to help expand its dessert presence in Canada, the Netherlands and the United States. (Company reports)

    Nestlé broke ground on a new facility at its manufacturing site in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka, to expand capacity for dairy and coconut-based products . . . Philippine food and ag conglomerate Universal Robina earmarked US$144 million to expand factories across Southeast Asia, including building a new candy plant in Thailand, a new snack plant in Malaysia and a new cookie/biscuit line in Indonesia . . . New Zealand’s EasiYo, owned by Westland Milk Products, contracted with UK-based Ornua Nutrition Ingredients (ONI) to produce the company’s flagship make-at-home yogurt mixes for the European market. Ornua and Westland are adding a new blending/packing line at ONI’s Leek, UK, headquarters to support the partnership . . . Colorado-based Aurora Organic Dairy plans to build a $90-million manufacturing plant in Columbia, Mo. Aurora provided no further details about the project. (Nikkei Asian Review, 1/16/17; Lanka Business Online, 1/14/17; AP, 1/13/17; Agriland, 1/11/17)

    Beingmate forecast a sign of challenging times in Chinese formula sector: In a sign of continued unrest in the Chinese infant formula sector, Beingmate Baby and Child Food slashed its full-year guidance, doubling its projected loss to US$109-$116 million. Beingmate investor Fonterra Co-operative Group said the announcement reflected overall challenging Chinese market conditions rather than any specific weakness of Beingmate’s. Fonterra reaffirmed its faith in the long-term potential of the Chinese formula sector, but indicated it expected a continued challenge through 2017 and into next year as new regulations governing infant formula enter into effect. The regulations, which limit the number of infant formula brands a company can market, among other requirements, are expected to slash the number of brands and labels on Chinese shelves from 2,000 to about 500. (BusinessDesk, 1/25/17)

    FrieslandCampina invests in Chinese formula business: FrieslandCampina is reportedly working with Jilin Zhongxin Dairy Co. and Singapore Sincere Lion to build a new infant formula manufacturing plant in Jilin City in the Jilin Province in northeast China. The $87 million project would produce 30,000 tons of formula annually. (USDEC China office)

    Ireland’s Ornua purchased FJ Need (Foods) Ltd., a UK-based cheese converter servicing the foodservice and food manufacturing sectors. Ornua said it expects the purchase to increase its capacity to service British and international markets . . . Nestlé is reportedly considering a takeover of Mead Johnson Nutrition . . . Vietnam-based restaurant operator L Concepts, a subsidiary of Longfort Group, purchased Thai artisan pizza chain Scoozi Italian Restaurant. (Deal Street Asia, 1/26/17; Agriland, 1/25/17; Bloomberg, 1/19/17)

    Ireland’s Dairygold and Glanbia Ingredients Ireland agreed to extend a decade-old contract-manufacturing agreement by three years. Under the deal, Dairygold processes milk into cheese, whey and/or SMP for Glanbia, and Glanbia processes cream into butter and buttermilk powder for Dairygold . . . Lithuanian dairy Vilkyskiu Pienine sent its first cheese shipment to China: 20 tons of mozzarella. The company has been working to develop alternate markets since Russia implemented its dairy ban in 2014. (Agriland, 1/24/17; The Baltic Course, 1/17/17)

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    Arla 2017 capital spending plan focuses on whey, foodservice: Arla Foods increased its 2017 capital investment budget to €335 million (about US$358 million), nearly 50 percent more than the previous year. The company slated a series of projects aimed at moving more milk into higher-value ingredients and branded retail and foodservice products. Major projects include:

    • €31 million to upgrade and expand its Denmark Protein plant in Videbæk, Denmark. The project is the company’s largest single expenditure for the year and aims to support its goal to become a global leader in high-value whey ingredients across food and beverage categories.
    • €13 million to upgrade and expand mozzarella production at its Rødkærsbro, Denmark, plant to target the international pizza foodservice sector.
    • €12 million to rebuild processing, filling and packaging lines for spreadable cheese and cream cheese at its Holstebro, Denmark, facility.

    To read the full Arla release on its spending plans, click here. (Company reports)

    Glanbia, DFA, MMPA, Foremost Farms plan whey, cheese facility: Glanbia plc, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) and Foremost Farms USA are planning to build a joint-venture cheese and whey production facility in Michigan. Glanbia will own half the joint venture and handle all operational and commercial aspects of the business; the three co-ops will own the other half, supplying a projected 8 million lbs. of milk per day. Should the project proceed as planned, the companies expect to commission the plant in the second half of 2019. Glanbia said the venture would expand its global position as a producer of American-style cheddar and whey protein. (Company reports)

    Britain’s Reckitt Benckiser Group says it is in advanced negotiations to acquire Mead Johnson Nutrition . . . Canada’s Saputo made an offer to buy the 12 percent of Australia’s Warrnambool Cheese and Butter that it does not already own. Saputo plans to delist the company from the Australian Securities Exchange . . . Vietnam’s Vinamilk signed a strategic partnership agreement with Bangladeshi distributor Bigbiz that will see the companies work together to accelerate the rollout of Vinamilk milk powder, yogurt and other products in Bangladesh . . . Restaurant Brands International is teaming with a group of Mexican investors to bring the Tim Hortons chain to Mexico. (USDEC Vietnam office; Bloomberg, 2/1/17; Queensland Country Life, 1/30/17; AP, 1/27/17)

    Ireland’s Aurivo Co-operative Society is investing €5 million to upgrade its Ballaghaderreen, County Roscommon, manufacturing plant. The project is part of a multi-year expansion to meet rising global demand for milk powder and butter . . . Fonterra made its first sale of individually quick frozen mozzarella to Brazil for pizza restaurant Cantina Castelões. (Company reports; Agriland, 1/26/17)

    FrieslandCampina deepens commitment to Pakistan: FrieslandCampina CEO Roelof Joosten and Engro Corp. Chairman Hussain Dawood met with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to discuss joint efforts to develop Pakistan’s dairy sector. FrieslandCampina acquired a majority stake in Pakistani dairy processor Engro last year for about $450 million. The World Bank’s International Finance Corp. recently announced it was providing $145 million in financing to FrieslandCampina for the acquisition to help spur Pakistan dairy sector growth. The nation is currently dealing with a widespread milk adulteration scandal that is testing consumer faith in the industry. Roelof and Dawood highlighted the need for the private sector to work with the government to bring the local dairy industry up to par with international standards and contribute to its overall development. (Company reports; The News, 2/4/17)

    Glanbia buys plant nutrition, DTC businesses: Glanbia plc paid a combined €181 million (about US$194 million) for Grass Advantage LLC (also known as Amazing Grass) and Body & Fit. Glanbia said the companies “provide a strong strategic fit” with its Performance Nutrition division, “extending its reach to new customers and channels.” California-based Amazing Grass, which owns a portfolio of organic and non-GMO consumer brands based on cereal grasses, gives Glanbia a foot in the door in the plant-based nutrition market. Body & Fit is a Dutch direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketer of performance nutrition products with sales centered in Germany and the Benelux region. (Company reports)

    Nestlé moving U.S. headquarters, expanding Wisconsin plant: Nestlé USA is moving its headquarters from Glendale, California, to Rosslyn, Virginia. The new site will house corporate functions and its beverage, confections and global foods divisions, among other departments. In conjunction with the move, the company is also investing $50 million in a new Nestlé Development Center for frozen and chilled foods in Solon, Ohio, which will also serve as the new home for its technical and production organization and supply chain teams. Separately, it is expanding capacity at its Eau Claire, Wisconsin, facility to boost output of nutritional products, including infant formula, medical nutrition products and nutritional drinks. The project will increase annual output from 100,000 tons to 120,000 tons. (Company reports)

    Dubai Investment Industries sold Dubai-based dairy processor Marmum Dairy Farm and its distribution unit United Sales Partners to UAE-based agricultural firm Elite Agro LLC. (CPI Financial, 2/8/17)

    Latvian dairy processor Food Union secured $225 million in funding from private equity firms PAG Group and Meridian Capital to support growth plans, including completion of two manufacturing plants in China. It now expects to complete the facilities by early 2018 . . . Hungarian dairy processor Alföldi Tej is building a $41 million dairy manufacturing plant in Debrecen, Hungary. The plant will produce 8,500 tons of cheese and 7,000 tons of milk powder annually. Alföldi Tej recently completed a Chinese regulatory audit to clear the way for exports to China . . . British cheese exporter Somerdale International made its first shipment to the Philippines through Philippines-based supplier Bacchus Epicerie. (Company reports; ActMedia, 2/8/16; Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2/8/17; DairyReporter.com, 2/7/17)

    PanTheryx buys two U.S. colostrum producers: Colorado-based global medical nutrition company PanTheryx purchased USDEC members APS BioGroup, Phoenix, and La Belle Associates, Bellingham, Washington. APS and La Belle are leading producers of colostrum and related nutrition products. PanTheryx uses colostrum in its DiaResQ treatment for diarrhea and lauds its health and wellness attributes, but says “its full potential has yet to be realized.” The company expects the acquisitions to help it advance colostrum research and expand commercial opportunities. (Company reports)  

    Murray Goulburn gets new CEO amid reports of milk supply worries: Ari Mervis took over as CEO and managing director of Australia’s Murray Goulburn Co-operative (MG) this week and immediately attempted to win over members still angry over last year’s surprise retroactive milk price cut. Mervis plans to hold multiple regional meetings to engage membership and discuss the company and industry direction. Around 400 members left the co-op over the past 10 months, either defecting to other processors or retiring. Poor Australian weather coupled with the departures have significantly reduced milk flows and reportedly caused MG to fast-track a review of four processing facilities for potential closure. The plants are all in Victoria in Koroit, Leongatha, Maffra and Rochester. (Company reports; Riverine Herald, 2/7/17)

    France’s Lactalis reportedly paid $106 million for China’s Jiangsu Taizi Dairy . . . UK-based drug, personal care and household products company Reckitt Benckiser paid £13.3 billion (about US$16.6 billion) for Mead Johnson Nutrition . . . Italian cheesemaker Granarolo is looking to make a U.S. acquisition by the end of the year. (USDEC China office; Wall Street Journal, 2/10/17; Dairy Markets, 2/10/17)

    Feihe International provided additional information about the infant formula plant it is building in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. The company expects to open the plant by the end of 2019 and export about 80 percent of the facility’s output to Asia . . . Danone unveiled a new efficiency program called “Protein” that it says will yield €1 billion (about US$1.1 billion) in savings by 2020. It did not release details . . . UK infant formula company Kendal Nutricare inked a deal that triples its Chinese retail sales reach to 6,000 stores . . . Irish food promotion agency Bord Bia opened a new office in Warsaw, Poland, from which the group plans to target 11 Central and Eastern European countries to expand exports . . . Vietnamese restaurant company Max’s Group plans to open at least 12 Yellow Cab Pizza outlets in Vietnam over the next five years. The move follows deals in 2016 to extend the Yellow Cab Pizza brand into China and the Pancake House chain to Qatar. (USDEC China office; USDEC Vietnam office; Company reports; Irish Independent, 2/10/17; Dairy Markets, 2/10/17)

    Ireland’s Glanbia Co-op positions for growth with Glanbia plc deal: Ireland’s Glanbia Co-operative Society purchased a 60 percent stake in Glanbia plc’s Dairy Ireland division, which includes Glanbia Consumer Products and Glanbia Agribusiness. The co-op and the plc formed a new joint venture called Glanbia Ireland to operate the two business as well as their existing partnership, Glanbia Ingredients Ireland. Glanbia Co-op said the deal will help provide the strong cash flow necessary to expand processing capacity to handle a 30 percent increase in member milk deliveries by 2020. (Company reports; Agriland, 2/22/17)

    Hi-Tech plans to reopen former Dean Foods plant in Pennsylvania: Atlanta-based Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals purchased a shuttered Dean Foods plant in Belleville, Pennsylvania, and plans to reopen the facility as a cheese and ingredient manufacturer. Hi-Tech says it is making “a multi-million-dollar investment to increase capacity and expand receiving” and hopes to begin processing “in the coming months.” The plant will manufacture a variety of cheeses (including Italian varieties), whey ingredients, liquid nutraceuticals, dietary supplements, RTD beverages and other drinks. (Company reports)

    Restaurant Brands International (RBI) offered about $1.6 billion to buy chicken outlet Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen. RBI, which owns the Burger King and Tim Hortons chains, said it sees huge growth potential for Popeye’s in Asia . . . Canada’s Saputo acquired another 10 percent of Australia’s Warrnambool Cheese & Butter, lifting its total ownership in the company to more than 98 percent . . . Chilean dairy and food company Watt’s obtained regulatory approval to purchase Danone’s Chilean operations, including a plant in Chillán and the Calán trademark. The deal included a long-term license for Watt’s to make and market certain Danone brands. (Company reports; Reuters, 2/22/17; The Australian, 2/21/17; Wall Street Journal, 2/21/17)

    Australia’s Coca-Cola Amatil is closing a manufacturing plant in South Australia and building a new A$90-million facility (about US$69 million) in Richlands, Queensland, that will manufacture dairy beverages among other products
    . . . Ireland’s Kerry Group named Edmond Scanlon to replace retiring CEO Stan McCarthy when McCarthy steps down at the end of September. Scanlon is currently chief executive of Kerry’s Asia-Pacific operations . . . After a successful test run at a Seattle location, Starbucks plans to roll out ice cream at more than 100 outlets . . . Creditors of Australian milk broker National Dairy Products voted to liquidate the company. (Sydney Morning Herald, 2/22/17; The Weekly Times, 2/22/17; Irish Independent, 2/21/17; Seattle Times, 2/14/17)

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    Mead Johnson buys Bega dryer, infant formula finishing plant: Mead Johnson Nutrition (MJN) paid A$200 million (about US$154 million) for one of four spray dryers at Bega Cheese’s Tatura Milk plant in Victoria, Australia, and Bega’s Derrimut, Victoria, infant milk powder finishing plant. MJN purchased the facilities to support business in China. Bega had been a certified supplier for the company since 2009. The deal included a 10-year agreement under which Bega will continue to run the facilities and supply existing customers. (Company reports; The Weekly Times, 2/27/17)

    Italy’s Parmalat paid €100 million (about US$105 million) for Chilean cheese and butter maker La Vaquita . . . New Zealand’s A2 Milk paid NZ$48 million (about US$35 million) for an 8 percent stake in infant formula maker Synlait Milk, strengthening the companies’ existing business ties . . . Japan’s Morinaga & Co. and Morinaga Milk Industry plan to merge to capitalize on operating efficiencies. The only overlap between the two businesses is frozen desserts . . . Canada’s Saputo has moved to compulsorily acquire the outstanding 1.1 percent of Warrnambool Cheese & Butter that it does not already own . . . Tetra Pak purchased Wisconsin-based cheese manufacturing specialist Johnson Industries International. (Diario Financiero, 3/3/17; DairyReporter.com, 3/3/17; The Australian, 3/2/17; The Weekly Times, 2/28/17; Nikkei Asian Review, 2/24/17)

    Fonterra Co-operative Group has begun distributing its Anchor and Mainland retail dairy brands in Puerto Rico and launched NZMP low-lactose instant WMP in the Middle East at this week’s Gulfood show . . . UK-based foodservice cheese manufacturer Prima Cheese is spending £3 million (about US$3.5 million) to increase capacity by 50 percent to service growing export markets in the Middle East, Hong Kong, Dominican Republic and Taiwan . . . UAE-based retailer Lulu Group plans to add 20 hypermarkets to its Saudi Arabian operations by 2020, nearly tripling its presence in the nation . . . Saputo Cheese USA is creating a regional headquarters in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, absorbing its Richfield, Wisconsin, office. (USDEC Middle East office; Company reports; Insider Media, 2/24/17; Biz Times, 2/23/17)

    PepsiCo reportedly made a $1.9 billion bid for Brazilian dairy processor Fábrica de Produtos Alimenticios Vigor. France’s Lactalis and Mexico’s Grupo Lala were also reported as suitors. (Reuters, 3/8/17)

    Philippines-based San Miguel PureFoods is considering creating an export hub in Malaysia, including building a halal dairy or meat processing facility . . . Fonterra appointed current CFO Lukas Paravicini to COO, global consumer and foodservice, effective June 1, 2017. Paravicini replaces Jacqueline Chow . . . Chobani named former Nestlé Waters North America CEO Tim Brown as its new president and COO. (Company reports; Bernama, 3/8/17; FoodNavigator-USA.com, 3/6/17)

    Argentina’s SanCor shutters facilities, seeks government aid: Argentina’s largest dairy co-operative SanCor is seeking government aid to keep the business afloat. Sharply lower WMP exports to Venezuela and late payments for product already shipped to that country triggered a severe cash crunch for the processor. After the government rejected a request for AR$4 billion (about US$260 million) in assistance earlier this year, SanCor submitted a new restructuring plan that includes the permanent closure of four facilities and elimination of 1,000 jobs. The four closed plants are cheese manufacturing facilities located in Brinkman, Moldes, Centeno and Charlone. The Moldes plant makes hard cheeses for export markets. SanCor suspended activities at the four facilities in February in a move that was considered temporary at the time. (Dairy Markets, 3/14/17)

    Nestlé is reportedly close to finalizing a deal with the Cuban government to build a $50-$60 million joint-venture manufacturing plant in Cuba to make coffee, biscuits and cooking products . . . Australia’s Midfield Group is proceeding with construction on its Penola, South Australia, milk powder processing plant, but indefinitely postponed an A$100-million (about US$76-million) Phase II addition that would have extended capabilities to other types of milk products. The company blamed soaring energy costs . . . Wal-Mart Stores plans to spend $320 million over the next three years to upgrade its hypermarkets in Brazil. The company has been losing share to other retail formats, like c-stores and warehouse stores. (The Advertiser, 3/13/17; Wall Street Journal, 3/12/17; Reuters, 3/8/17)

    Bel opens second Vietnam plant: Bel Vietnam, a subsidiary of the French cheesemaker Bel Group, inaugurated a €13 million (about US$14 million) cheese plant in the southern province of Binh Duong on March 16. The plant, Bel’s second in the country, can produce 10,000 tons of processed cheese per year. The company said it plans to use it as a supply hub for Southeast Asia. (USDEC Vietnam office)

    Unilever is reportedly seeking buyers for some of its food brands, including Stork butter and Flora margarine . . . France’s Lactalis extended its buyout offer on Parmalat after its latest price-per-share offer failed to push its ownership stake above the 90 percent level needed to delist the Italian dairy supplier. Lactalis’s stake now sits at 89.6 percent. (Reuters, 3/22/17; 3/18/17)

    Ornua began shipping Kerrygold brand cheese to Singapore. It is marketing the line at retailers and via ecommerce websites . . . Uruguayan dairy processors are struggling with reduced milk flows and the cumulative effect of two years of low international commodity prices. Indulacsa Industria Lactea Salteña shuttered its Salto cheese plant and Coleme implemented a partial closure of its Cerro Lago facility to cut costs. (Food Ingredients First, 3/22/17; El País, 3/11/17, 3/10/17)

    Yili christens Stage 2 of Kiwi dairy plant, launches new infant formula: China’s Yili Industrial Group completed Stage 2 of its Oceania Dairy facility in Glenavy on New Zealand’s South Island. The expansion includes capacity to process UHT milk, package 30,000 tons/year of infant formula, dry 56,000 tons/year of WMP, and produce 16 tons/year of functional dairy proteins, including lactoferrin. The project takes Yili’s total investment in Oceania to NZ$600 million (about US$422 million). Yili used the occasion of the plant opening to launch Oceania’s new infant formula brand for the Chinese market: Pro-Kido Ruihu. (USDEC China office; NZFarmer.co.nz, 3/25/17)

    FrieslandCampina says Huishan JV operating as normal: FrieslandCampina says that its 50/50 Chinese joint venture, Friesland Huishan Dairy, was operating as normal despite severe business concerns regarding its partner China Huishan Dairy Holdings. China Huishan’s stock plummeted by 85% in an hour due to rumors of mismanagement and financial instability. (Reuters, 3/29/17, 3/28/17)

    Vinamilk buys out Cambodia JV: Vietnam’s Vinamilk paid $11 million to buy out its Cambodian joint venture partner in Angkor Dairy Product Co. Vinamilk and BPC Trading formed Angkor in 2013 and completed a Cambodian processing facility last year. Vinamilk plans to double the plant’s milk-processing capacity to 38 million liters per year and triple its yogurt output to 192 million cups per year by 2024. (Viet Nam News, 3/24/17)

    Japanese confectionery company Morinaga and dairy processor Morinaga Milk Industry called off a proposed merger . . . Land O’Lakes purchased goat cheese and butter maker Vermont Creamery. (Company reports; Nikkei Asian Review, 3/31/17)

    Cargills Quality Dairies, a subsidiary of Cargills Ceylon plc, plans to open its new Kotmale dairy plant in Gaspe, Sri Lanka, in early April. Cargills, which manufactures milk, yogurt, ice cream and other dairy lines, is calling the factory a “multi-product” facility although it did not name which products . . . South Korea’s Maeil Dairy Industry plans to change its name to Maeil Holdings. (TheDairySite, 3/27/17; Reuters, 3/25/17)

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    Australian dairy and food company Beston Global Food sold its stake in vertically integrated organic dairy processor and exporter B.-d. Farm Paris Creek as well as one of its dairy farms for A$7 million (about US$5.3 million) . . . Danone is seeking a buyer for its Stonyfield yogurt business to clear antitrust issues associated with its WhiteWave acquisition . . . European investment firm JAB Holding, owner of a range of brands including Caribou Coffee and Krispy Kreme, purchased Panera Bread Co. for about $7.2 billion . . . Reckitt Benckiser is conducting a strategic review of its food businesses to offset some of the costs of its Mead Johnson Nutrition purchase. (Wall Street Journal, 4/5/17; FoodBev.com, 4/5/17; DairyReporter.com, 4/3/17; Wall Street Journal, 3/31/17)

    New Zealand plant expansion projects illustrate effort to shift product mix: New Zealand dairy processors continue to invest in diversifying output, shifting more volume to higher-value products. In addition to Yili Industrial Group’s recent completion of Stage 2 of its Oceania Dairy plant, recent reports note at least four other projects in the works:

    • Fonterra is installing two 1-liter UHT cream lines at Waitoa to produce 120 million liters annually, much of it for the China market. The project comes less than three years after the co-op opened its original 1-liter cream line. Once completed, the facility will boast seven UHT lines in all.
    • Mataura Valley Milk, owned by China Animal Husbandry Group, is reportedly on track to open its South Island nutritional powder plant in McNab this August. The plant will also make UHT cream and SMP. The company earlier reported the facility would produce 140 tons/day of nutritional powders.
    • Synlait Milk is in the midst of a project to expand its wet blending capacity to 80,000 tons per year and reportedly double canning capacity to 60,000 tons.
    • Maori-owned Kawerau Dairy is building an NZ$33 million (about US$23 million) powder plant in Kawerau on the North Island. Stage 1 will handle cow’s milk. A second drier for goat and sheep’s milk is slated for stage 2. The company says it will manufacture infant formula, protein powders and other products and expects to complete the first stage by late 2018. (USDEC staff; NZFarmer.co.nz, 4/12/17; Radio New Zealand, 4/7/17)

    Arla to expand infant formula capacity: Arla Foods is spending €12 million (about US$12.7 million) to add infant formula capacity to its AKAFA production site in Svenstrup, Denmark. Arla said its infant formula sales are growing by double-digits and expected global demand to continue to drive such growth in the coming years. The company plans to complete the project and begin production by August 2018. (Company reports)

    Huishan troubles mount: Creditors increased the pressure on troubled Chinese dairy producer and processor China Huishan Dairy Holdings. HSBC Holdings claimed the dairy violated terms of a $200 million loan agreement, while Gopher Asset Management successfully froze $80 million in Huishan assets through a Shanghai court. Prior to those actions, Huishan met government authorities and creditors to convince lenders to refrain from calling in loans or filing suits. The previous week, four non-executive directors resigned from the board and the executive director who ran treasury operations for the group remains missing. (Reuters, 4/11/17, 4/2/17; Dow Jones Newswires, 4/10/17; Straits Times, 4/3/17)

    New Zealand’s Synlait Milk and Australia’s Bellamy’s Organic are rumored suitors for Melbourne, Australia-based infant formula contract manufacturer Blend and Pack. Blend and Pack is one of the few Australian and New Zealand companies approved by Chinese authorities to export infant formula to the country . . . German frozen food company FRoSTA AG is negotiating to purchase Nestlé Italiana’s frozen foods business. (NZFarmer.co.nz, 4/12/17; DairyReporter.com, 4/10/17; The Australian, 3/31/17)

    Germany’s Privatmolkerei Naarmann signed a deal with an unnamed Pakistani distributor to begin shipping bag-in-box UHT milk to Pakistan. The package features a dispensing system that allows 10 days of unrefrigerated use. Naarmann specializes in dairy-based foodservice products . . . California-based hamburger chain Umami Burger opened its first international outlet in Tokyo. (USDEC Japan office; Company reports)

    ADPI presented the first Dairy Ingredient Innovation Award to USDEC member Agropur for its casein-derived high-purity glycomacropeptide (GMP) . . . FrieslandCampina plans to begin exporting its Frico butter to China this year and start marketing its Chocomel chocolate milk and an adult milk powder to China through cross-border e-commerce sites. (Company news; China Daily, 4/25/17)

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    Australia’s Murray Goulburn restructures, faces prosecution: Australia’s largest dairy processor Murray Goulburn Co-operative (MG) plans to close three manufacturing facilities as part of a companywide review aimed at adapting to smaller milk flows and getting the co-op back on the growth track after last year’s farmgate milk price debacle. MG will shut down a UHT plant in Edith Creek, Tasmania, a fresh dairy products plant in Kiewa, Victoria, and a cheese and powder facility in Rochester, Victoria. Kiewa will close by the second quarter of 2018; the Victoria facilities will begin staged shutdowns beginning this August. The company officially called off investment plans to expand dairy beverage and nutritional capacity in Koroit, Victoria. It also is forgiving A$148 million (about US$111 million) in farmer debts accrued through the Milk Supply Support Package (MSSP) scheme designed to prop up 2015/16 producer payments after last year’s retroactive price cut. The bungled price cut and the MSSP are major reasons for the reduced milk flows that forced the plant rationalization plan. Days before the announcement, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission filed federal court proceedings against MG, alleging the co-op “engaged in unconscionable conduct and made false or misleading representations” in the lead-up to the price cut. Former Managing Director Gary Helou and former CFO Bradley Hingle could face large fines for their roles in events. (Company reports; news.co.au, 5/3/17; BusinessDesk, 4/28/17; ABC News, 4/28/17)

    Emmi takes 40 percent share in Brazilian dairy: Switzerland’s Emmi acquired a 40 percent stake in Brazil’s Laticínios Porto Alegre Indústria Comércio. The company manufactures cheese, UHT milk, butter and whey powder at facilities in Ponte Nova and Mutum, in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. This is Emmi’s second investment in South America. The company also owns a majority stake in Chilean dairy processor Surlat. (Company reports)

    China’s Yili Industrial Group scrapped plans announced last October to purchase a 37 percent stake in Shengmu Organic Milk. The companies said they failed to receive approval from Chinese regulators . . . Parmalat subsidiary LAG Holding acquired California-based specialty dairy processor Karoun Dairies Inc. . . . India’s Heritage Foods is reportedly entering a joint venture with an unnamed European dairy firm to manufacture and market yogurt in India . . . Chile’s Soprole is seeking a buyer for its Dos Álamos cheese brand. (Company reports; Press Trust of India, 4/24/17; Dairy Markets, 4/21/17)

    New Zealand’s Open Country Dairy is reportedly building a new processing plant in Horotiu on the North Island. The company said it expects to begin processing in spring 2018, but provided no details on product lines or capacity . . . Vietnam’s Vinamilk earmarked US$750 million over the next five years to boost milk production and processing capacity. It also overhauled its governance, adding three independent directors to the board with an eye toward attracting investment . . . Fonterra launched its first Anchor milk pop-up store in a mega-mall in Shanghai. The store lures shoppers with pastoral videos of New Zealand dairy farms, interactive games and product sampling. (Company reports; NZFarmer.co.nz, 5/1/17; Nikkei Asian Review, 4/27/17)

    Arla launches new knowledge-sharing platform for dairy ingredients: Arla Foods Ingredients launched a new online platform for individuals, businesses and experts involved with whey protein and lactose to share news and opinions and bounce ideas off each other. Titled “The Whey and Protein Blog”—www.thewheyprotein.blog—Arla said the site is not a commercial channel, so promoting brands, companies and products is not allowed. (Company reports)

    Indonesia’s Greenfields opens new fresh dairy plant: Indonesian dairy processor PT Greenfields, a subsidiary of Australia’s AustAsia Dairy Group, officially opened its new $25 million dairy plant in Malang, East Java. The plant will manufacture a range of products, including milk, yogurt and cheese, mainly for domestic demand. About 30 percent of PT Greenfields sales come from exports. (Jakarta Post, 5/4/17)

    Fonterra offers bonus to Australian suppliers, may owe more: New Zealand’s Fonterra Co-operative Group will pay its Australian suppliers an additional A$0.40/kgMS on top of a projected payout of A$5.30-A$5.70/kgMS for the 2017/18 season starting in July. Media reports suggest the bonus is aimed at mollifying members who might be looking to recoup money they believe Fonterra owes them for the 2015/16 season.

    That expectation stems from last week’s restructuring announcement by Australia’s Murray Goulburn Co-operative (MG). MG’s shakeup essentially equates to a retroactive increase in the 2015/16 farmgate milk price for its members. Because Fonterra is bound by contract to at least match the MG price for its Australian milk suppliers, its Australian suppliers believe the co-op owes them around A$64 million (about US$47 million). Some have vowed to take legal action to recover the money. Fonterra said it is investigating the matter and will provide an update as soon as possible. The co-op did not clarify whether the 2017/18 farmgate price and bonus announcement was its response to the issue. (The Weekly Times, 5/9/17; NZFarmer.co.nz, 5/4/17)

    China’s Yili Industrial Group is reportedly the front runner to acquire Danone’s Stonyfield Farm business with an $850-million bid for the U.S. yogurt maker. Dean Foods is also still in the running . . . Dean Foods took a minority stake in flaxseed-based beverage and yogurt maker Good Karma Foods . . . Norway’s Orkla Food Ingredients bought German ice cream ingredient sales and distribution company Eis Ludwig Gräbner. The deal follows Orkla’s March purchase of Dutch ice cream ingredients and accessories supplier Laan Heiloo. (Company reports; MarketWatch, 5/10/17)

    China’s state-owned food holding company COFCO said it is looking to buy more dairy products from Europe to meet rising demand . . . Danone’s U.S. division Dannon Co. is spending $25 million to build a 300,000-sq.-ft. refrigerated distribution center at its Minster, Ohio, yogurt plant . . . Hong Kong securities regulator ordered a trading halt for China Huishan Dairy Holding, indefinitely extending a suspension that’s been in place for more than a month due to concerns over the company’s finances . . .  Aurora Organic Dairy broke ground on a new $90-million milk and butter processing plant in Columbia, Missouri. (Reuters, 5/8/17, 5/4/17; Dayton Business Journal, 5/4/17; Columbia Daily Tribune, 5/4/17)

    Ausnutria buys Australian powder businesses: Hong Kong-headquartered Ausnutria Dairy bolstered its infant formula and functional milk powder capacity with the acquisition of Australian Dairy Park (ADP) and purchase of a 50 percent stake in Ozfarm. ADP is one of a handful of Australian formula manufacturers registered in China and cleared by the China’s Certification and Accreditation Administration (CNCA) to export. Ozfarm is a leading Australian infant, adult and specialty medical formula marketer. ADP manufactures all of Ozfarm’s products. Ausnutria, which owns facilities in China and the Netherlands and operates a joint venture with New Zealand’s Westland Milk Products, said the deal is part of its “Go Global” strategy to extend its supply network and broaden its product portfolio. (Company reports)

    Arla opens global innovation center: Arla Foods opened a new global innovation center in Aarhus, Denmark. The company says the facility will allow it to “vastly” accelerate innovation processes, providing a quicker route from idea to finished food or beverage product. For more information on the facility and how Arla plans to use it, read the company’s press release here.

    Elanco files injunction against Arla Foods: Eli Lilly Elanco US Inc. initiated a legal action against Arla Foods demanding that Arla cease its anti-rbST “Live Unprocessed” ad campaign. The campaign is built upon a child’s interpretation of what rbST is, and then brings that perception to life as an animated, six-eyed monster with “razor-sharp” horns and electrified fur. Elanco claims the campaign clearly deceives consumers with false notions about the safety of rbST, a product that scientific authorities and regulators in more than 50 countries have deemed safe. The campaign includes TV commercials and significant online components through Arla’s web page and social media resources. A full copy of the complaint is available through Courthouse News here. (Company reports)

    Miraka signs deal with Malaysian distributor: New Zealand dairy processor Miraka signed a memorandum of understanding with Malaysian distributor Storiiu under which Storiiu will market the company’s Whai Ora line of smoothies. The deal marks Miraka’s first international consumer partnership. The company plans to launch Whai Ora in the Philippines and Singapore after the Malaysia roll-out. (FoodNavigator-Asia.com, 5/17/17)

    Fonterra opens realigned Malaysian plant: Fonterra reopened its Susumas milk powder facility in Shah Alam, Malaysia, after a US$5 million project to improve efficiency. The company considers the Susumas operation and its sister facility Dairymas a regional manufacturing hub from which it can service rising demand in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Fonterra predicts Southeast Asian dairy consumption will rise 7-8 percent per year vs. global consumption growth of 2-3 percent. (Bernama, 5/16/17; The Star, 5/16/17)

    Wall Street Journal reports that Mexico’s Grupo Lala has emerged as the leading bidder for Danone’s Stonyfield Farm yogurt business, ahead of China’s Yili Industrial Group . . . A sale of Brazil’s Fábrica de Produtos Alimenticios Vigor looks to be back on again. Parent company JBS is reportedly working on a plan to sell several assets, including its dairy business. Earlier this year, several companies were rumored suitors for Vigor, before JBS paused the process . . . France’s Lactalis bought German dairy co-op OMIRA and its two plants in Neuberg an der Donau and Ravensburg . . . Glanbia Co-operative Society members and Glanbia plc shareholders approved the proposed creation of a new joint venture: Glanbia Ireland. Co-op farmers will share a €100-million payout (about US$112 million) as part of the deal . . . Thailand’s F&N Dairy Investments purchased another 1 percent of Vietnam’s Vinamilk, giving it a total stake of just over 17 percent . . . Italian dairy processor Granarolo purchased a majority stake in Greek dairy distributor Quality Brands International. (Reuters, 5/24/17; FoodBev.com, 5/24/17; Agriland, 5/22/17; Wall Street Journal, 5/17/17; DairyReporter.com, 5/16/17; Vietnam Net Bridge, 5/12/17)

    France’s Danone and joint venture partner Abraaj Group invested $25 million to add three new production lines to their Fan Milk manufacturing plant in Accra, Ghana to sustain growing dairy demand in West Africa . . . Vinamilk says it signed a memorandum of understanding with an unnamed Chinese partner to begin exporting on a regular basis to China, starting with infant formula, condensed milk and yogurt. (Company reports; Nikkei Asian Review, 5/15/17)

    June1.jpg

    Synlait buys NZDC: New Zealand’s Synlait Milk acquired New Zealand Dairy Co. (NZDC), including NZDC’s Mangere, North Island, infant formula manufacturing site that is still under construction. Synlait said the plant, when finished in October 2017, will “substantially” lift its blending and canning capacity. The company will seek certification of the new facility from New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries and China’s Certification and Accreditation Administration (CNCA) for infant formula manufacturing and export. Synlait’s outlay for the deal will be NZ$56.5 million (about US$40 million), including the cost of completing the Mangere plant. (Company reports)

    Yum! Brands plans to add 100 Taco Bell stores each to Canada, China, Brazil and India in a push to grow the Mexican food chain’s international presence . . . Nestlé officially opened a new factory in Hung Yen, Vietnam, to manufacture ready-to-drink Milo and develop new nutritional beverages for the Vietnamese market . . . Vietnam’s Huy Vietnam Group is spending $40 million to build two manufacturing plants to service its 200-unit restaurant operation and to process foods for export. (USDEC Vietnam office; Company reports; Bloomberg, 5/25/17)

    Fonterra Te Rapa upgrade targets China’s foodservice sector: New Zealand’s Fonterra is spending NZ$20 million (about US$14 million) to expand its Te Rapa, North Island, manufacturing plant to meet rising demand for butter and cream cheese in Asia. Two additional cream cheese lines will increase output from 30,000 tons to 33,500 tons per year, while a new butter line will more than double production of “mini-dish” portions to 650 million annually. Fonterra reports that demand for both products is exceeding supply, “particularly out of China.” (NZFarmer.co.nz, 6/2/17)

    Murray Goulburn announces second strategic review: Troubled Australian dairy Murray Goulburn Co-operative (MG) launched a second strategic review to examine “all aspects” of its strategy and corporate structure. Reaching its projected farmgate price of A$5.20-5.40/kgMS in 2017/18 depends on further cost cuts, the co-op said. The announcement comes a little more than a month after an initial review saw the company revamp its farmgate payouts and announce three plant closures. CEO Ari Mervis said the proposed closures alone were insufficient “to move the business forward.” MG also announced it was killing a number of brands and product lines at the end of November in conjunction with the already announced plant closures. The company opted for discontinuation rather than move relevant equipment to alternate facilities. (Company reports; ShareCafe, 6/7/17)

    U.S. investment fund Arlon Group bought a 20 percent stake in Brazilian dairy manufacturer CBL Alimentos for an estimated $100-120 million. CBL, also known as Betânia, operates five manufacturing plants and owns a variety of brands. (Milkpoint, 6/2/17)

    Mexico’s Grupo Lala is building a new $30-million dairy plant in Escuintla, Guatemala. The plant will reportedly manufacture UHT milk and formula, cream cheese and ice cream . . . Mondelez International is selling its condensed milk plant at its Cadbury manufacturing facility in Dunedin on New Zealand’s South Island . . . Zimbabwe’s Probrands is building a $4-million UHT plant in the city of Ruwa . . . Canada’s Ultima Foods is investing US$11 million on a new drinkable yogurt manufacturing line at its Granby, Quebec, plant . . . Problems continue for China’s Huishan Dairy. The company reported a $370-million “discrepancy” in its books and is talking with creditors about a debt restructuring. All board members except its chairman have left since the company’s stock plunged in March based on rumors of mismanagement . . . Teagasc, Ireland’s Agriculture and Food Development Authority, projects the country will need 6,000 more people to enter dairy farming by 2025 to account for retirement and industry growth. (USDEC Mexico office; AP, 6/6/17; DairyReporter.com, 6/6/17; South China Morning Post, 6/5/17, Wall Street Journal, 5/29/17; The Herald, 6/5/17; BusinessDay, 6/3/17; Agriland, 6/2/17)

    Australia’s Bellamy’s buys canning facility: Australian infant formula company Bellamy’s Organic purchased a 90 percent stake in the Camperdown Powder canning facility in Melbourne and renegotiated its milk powder supply agreement with Fonterra Australia. Bellamy’s is looking to rebound from a late 2016 collapse in its stock price due to concerns over profitability, sales and access to China. Camperdown Powder gives the company a CNCA-licensed canning facility to facilitate entry into the Chinese market. Bellamy’s is issuing new shares to raise A$60 million (about US$45 million) to help pay for the deal. The new supply agreement with Fonterra reduces burdensome payments. (Sydney Morning Herald, 6/13/17; AAP, 6/13/17)

    Rather than mothball the plants, Australia’s Murray Goulburn Co-operative plans to sell the three facilities it marked for closure at Edith Creek, Tasmania, and Kiewa and Rochester, Victoria . . . Canadian dairy cooperative Nutrinor purchased a majority stake in Quebec-based cheesemaker Fromagerie Champêtre. (DairyReporter.com, 6/12/17; The Examiner, 6/9/17)

    AMPI plans to double capacity at its cheese and whey plant in Sanborn, Iowa, by year’s end. The company is installing eight new cheese vats, increasing daily milk handling capacity to about 1,400 tons . . . Australia’s Nature One Dairy signed a strategic partnership agreement with China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) to produce an all-Australian infant formula for sale in China . . . HP Hood is reportedly considering buying the former Muller Quaker Dairy yogurt plant in Batavia, N.Y., refitting it to produce fluid products and adding a 100,000-sq.-ft. refrigerated warehouse . . . Arla Foods filed a motion to dismiss a complaint filed by Eli Lilly Elanco US related to Arla’s anti-rbST marketing campaign. (Company reports; DairyReporter.com, 6/6/17, 6/12/17; The Daily News, 6/10/17)

    SanCor restructuring plan opens door to foreign investors: Shareholders in Argentine dairy co-op SanCor approved a restructuring plan that opens the door to a $15-million government bailout as well as potential foreign investment. SanCor has been struggling with cash flow problems fueled by sluggish domestic demand, reduced exports and late payments from Venezuela. The government funds are meant to stabilize the business and allow the company to meet outstanding commitments. The co-op has already held discussions with New Zealand’s Fonterra Co-operative Group and France’s Lactalis about potentially buying a stake. Media also reported investment interest from Mexico’s Grupo Lala and Uruguay’s Conaprole. (Dairy Markets, 6/19/17)

    Brazilian meat and food processor JBS unveiled a $1.8-billion divestment plan that includes selling a 19-percent stake in its Vigor Alimentos dairy operation . . . Nestlé is “exploring strategic options” for its U.S. confectionery business, including a possible sale . . . Nestlé also purchased a minority interest in New York-based prepared meal firm Freshly Inc. (Company reports; Reuters, 6/20/17; Wall Street Journal, 6/20/17)

    Germany’s DMK Group is closing factories in Rimbeck and Bad Bibra, Germany, and eliminating cut and wrap operations in Nordhackstedt in mid-2018. DMK cited expectations of reduced milk flows as farmers exit the cooperative over the next two years . . . FrieslandCampina is building a new 750,000-sq.-ft. distribution center in Meppel, Netherlands, including 330,000 sq. ft. dedicated to storage and transfer of products intended for export markets. The new facility will consolidate activities from four regional warehouses, and the co-op says it will reduce CO2 emissions and improve overall efficiency . . . Australia’s Bega Cheese capital raising for A$160-million (about US$121 million) was oversubscribed one day after the announcement. Bega said it wants the funds “to be prepared for any future food and dairy growth opportunities.” (Company reports; Queensland Country Life, 6/27/17)

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