Fonterra sells Wagga Wagga business to Blue River Group


Fonterra Australia has agreed to sell its Wagga Wagga business to Blue River Group after the two parties successfully negotiated the signing of a Sale Agreement.

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According to the co-operative, the sale includes the Wagga Wagga manufacturing site and the award winning Riverina Fresh brand.

Fonterra Australia Managing Director René Dedoncker said the move will not jeopardise the jobs security of Wagga Wagga employees.

“Divesting the Wagga Wagga business follows the divestment of non-core assets, including our yoghurt and dairy desserts business, our Bega shares and our stake in Dairy Technical Services, and allows us to focus and put all our energy into our core businesses of Ingredients, Consumer and Foodservice,” Mr Dedoncker added.

In the last 12 months, the company commissioned a multi-million beverages plant in Cobden – creating over 50 local jobs – and commenced construction of a new state-of-the-art cheese plant in Stanhope which is on track for completion mid-2017.

Additionally, it secured new long-term customers for its nutritionals plant in Darnum – including Bellamy’s Organics – and entered into a joint venture agreement with Beingmate.

“We’re investing in programs and innovations to support our market-leading cheese and spread brands – Western Star, Perfect Italiano, Mainland and Bega – we’re building on the early success of our newly launched Anchor brand in Australia, and we’re maintaining the excellent performance of our Foodservice business,” Mr Dedoncker said.

“All these initiatives have laid the foundation for a strong sustainable business that is profitable for the long-term and well-positioned to pay our farmers the best possible milk price in a competitive global market.”

The Wagga Wagga sale is expected to be finalised during October 2016.