Bega Cheese plans for more Tatura cheese in Middle East

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 21st February 2012

The Victorian Government has claimed to be involved in a project by Bega Cheese in which its cream cheese facility at Tatura, in Australia’s troubled Goulburn Valley ‘food bowl’, will be expanded.

Victorian Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business, Ms. Louise Asher, has claimed that the Victorian Government is to be ‘joining’ Bega in the AU$7.8 million expansion of Tatura’s production supply of cream cheese. The expansion will increase production from 15, 000 tonnes to 22, 000 tonnes per annum and facilitate new exports to the region.

The extent to which the Victorian Government is involved is unknown at this stage.

Tatura Milk Industries, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bega Cheese, specialises in cream cheese and frozen milk-fat ingredients. It has been in production for more than thirty years, and already has export markets in the Gulf States.

The involvement of the Victorian Government may be also be connected with the repercussions of some recent closures and cutbacks by other companies, namely Heinz and SPC Ardmona.

Ms. Asher and Bega Cheese CEO, Aidan Coleman, announced the expansion plans at the annual Gulfood trade fair in Dubai.

“I am pleased Bega Cheese has recognised the opportunities in the Middle Eastern market and has joined me on Victoria’s largest ever trade mission to the region,” she said.

Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh said that Victorian exports of dairy product to the Middle East and North Africa were worth AU$272 million and have grown substantially over the last three years.

“Victoria accounts for 87 per cent of the value of Australia’s dairy exports and has a reputation second to none in terms of both quality and quantity of product available,” he said.