DFMC welcomes Lion sale to Bega

Dairy Farmers Milk Cooperative welcomes the announcement that, after over two years of being on the market, Lion Dairy & Drinks has been bought by ASX-listed Bega Cheese Ltd.

Bega is a strongly established Australian dairy and food business, with over 120 years of heritage. It is clear that Bega is ideally positioned to drive the Dairy & Drinks business forward.

The sale will include all the white milk, Milk Based Beverages (MBB), yoghurt, juice and water ice brands, including Lion’s blockbuster brands – Dairy Farmers, Dare, Pura, Masters, Farmers Union, Yoplait, Berri, Daily Juice, The Juice Brothers and Zooper Dooper.

It also includes Lion Dairy & Drinks’ 11 dairy and juice manufacturing sites in Australia, the Dairy & Drinks International business, Lion’s share of the joint ventures Vitasoy Australia products (Vitasoy) and Capitol Chilled Foods Australia (CCFA), its majority shareholding in Made by Cow and the Dairy & Drinks’ licensing agreement for the Yoplait brand in Australia and South-East Asia.

Whilst we were initially disappointed to learn that Mengniu Dairy did not proceed with the sale process of LDD, we are pleased to see that Bega’s purchase is unconditional and requires no further regulatory approvals.

Bega is an iconic and well managed diversified food company with the heart and soul of a dairy company, and DFMC looks forward to commencing discussions with Bega about growing the supply of milk from our family dairy farmers’ base.

It is anticipated that the sale will be completed in early 2021 and will keep you updated should we hear any further announcements.

There is no change to your current milk supply contract as a result of this announcement

New Southern Directors Announced

We called for nominations for co-operative directors in South Australia (region 4) and Victoria (region 5) earlier in the year.   At the AGM on November 17 chairman Andrew Burnett was pleased to announce that with one candidate nominating in each region Greg Ault was elected in Victoria and that Sandy Rathjen was elected in South Australia.

Sandy and husband Kym, who is a third-generation farmer at “Glenjoy Friesian Stud” based in Springton, South Australia.  Currently “Glenjoy” milks 180 Holstein Friesian cows and produces 1.84 million litres annually as well as farming 100 beef cattle & 1000 sheep.

Sandy has always had a passion for animals and through her employment history has attained extensive business management skills which are now utilised to manage the farm which has grown from 400 acres to 2500 acres over the past 35 years.

Greg has been dairy farming for 35 years in a family partnership with his wife Joanne and support from their four children.  They are currently milking 500 cows with sharefarmers Andrew and Cassandra Kath on a 350ha irrigated farm at Rochester in Northern Victoria. As a supporter of the co-operative model the Aults have supplied DFMC for 10 years and Greg served on the Ward Representative Advisory Committee (WRAC) for 3 years.

Greg has shown real enthusiasm to get involved beyond the farmgate being an active member of UDV/VFF over the last 30 years holding several executive positions.  He also served as a director of Murray Dairy for 5 years.  He is currently a director of an irrigation co-operative and committee member of Campaspe Water Incorporated.