Danone brand Nutricia to process own infant formula in New Zealand
Nutricia, a subsidiary of France-based global dairy company Danone, has announced an agreement for the simultaneous acquisition of the spray dryer of Gardians, located near Balclutha, and the blending, packing and can-forming activities of the Sutton Group in Auckland.
The acquisition will mean Nutricia has a large milk drying capacity in New Zealand, along with a long-term fresh milk supply access. The Company said the acquisition will also add an infant formula blending and packing facility to its existing operations platform.
With this investment, Nutricia said it aimed to both diversify its base powder sourcing, and “reinforce its New Zealand heritage”.
While expanding activity in the country, Nutricia said it “stands by its quality and safety commitments in terms of continuous industry standards improvement”.
Nutricia said the transaction is subject to standard regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the coming months.
The move by Nutricia comes after news that its parent company Danone announced it would sue New Zealand-based dairy giant Fonterra for the impact of Fonterra’s whey protein food safety scare on Danone business. Australian Food News reported in October 2013 that Danone had announced a loss of €350 million in its Baby Nutrition business, and had adjusted its 2013 sales growth targets down to between 4.5 per cent and 5 per cent as a result of the Fonterra whey protein recall in August 2013.