Canada celebrates dairy foods with Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards

Gay Lea Foods Cooperative and Nutrinor Cooperative received Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards this week in Toronto.

Gay Lea Foods was presented two awards for its Gay Lea Foods Real Coconut Whipped Cream. The product was recognized in as the best in the category Condiment & Sauce, and it receive the All Canadian Special Award.

Nutrinor Cooperative was presented two awards for its Organic Nordic Milk (best Dairy Product and Healthy Innovation Special Award).

Other dairy products winners were Parmalat Canada (a Consumer Acceptance award for its Astro Original yogurt) and Scotsburn Dairy Group (for its Premium Inclusion Ice Cream Bars).

A 30-member jury selected winners in the awards program, which recognizes new grocery products in food, nonfood and private label categories in Canada. A total of 34 awards were presented at a June 3rd gala at the Toronto Congress Center.

A complete list of winners and finalists is here.

Norwegian dairy cooperative partners with Iowa cheesemaker Swiss Valley Farms

Norseland Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Norwegian dairy cooperative TINE SA, and Caves of Faribault, a subsidiary company of Iowa-based Swiss Valley Farms said this week that “the companies have entered a partnership to collaborate and expand sales outreach in the specialty food segment, with a stated goal of realizing accelerated growth and domain authority within this artisan category in the fast-paced food industry.”

Faribault is an award-winning producer of Blue cheese, Gorgonzola and other specialty cheeses. Norseland, whose U.S. headquarters is in Darien, Conn., is the exclusive importer of Jarlsberg cheese in the United States.

Saputo pursues its Australian dairy strategy with acquisition of a cheese business in Victoria

Saputo Inc. said on May 25 that its Australian subsidiary, Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Co. Holdings Ltd., completed the acquisition of the everyday cheese business of Lion-Dairy & Drinks Pty Ltd., Victoria, Australia. The deal was announced on March 2. The purchase price was Cdn$134.4 million.
The everyday cheese business (or EDC) operation include cutting and wrapping, distribution, sales and marketing and intellectual property associated with the COON, Cracker Barrel, Mil Lel and Fred Walker brands. The EDC business generates annual sales of approximately CDN$156 million. In a statement, Saputo said the deal is consistent with its stated strategy to invest in WCB to accelerate its growth in Australia.

China's dairy cattle stock hits record-setting 14.6m head

China has a record-setting 14.6m head dairy herd, according to data announced at the recently concluded China Dairy Conference in Fuzhou.

According to Gao Hongbin, president of the Dairy Association of China, dairy herds and milk production both increased in 2014, with the latter at 37.25m metric tons, close to the 2012 record level of 37.44m. Holstein Friesian cattle and other high-quality breeds now account for more than 80% of China’s dairy herd, have boosted average yield by 500 kilograms to 6 metric tons annually.

Further, China is now home to an estimated 1.3m dairy cattle with an average annual milk yield of above 9 metric tons.

“Large-scale dairy farms,” defined as farms with more than 100 dairy cattle, accounted for 45% of total farms. Over 1,000 large-scale farms received central government investments for expansion in 2014. Industry association data also reflects that no major milk quality or safety incidents took place in 2014. Of course, safety testing is ongoing. Of 1,312 dairy products sampled across 488 enterprises in 29 provinces during 2014, a failure rate of 0.9% was observed; of 1,365 infant formula products sampled from 100 companies, a failure rate of 3.2% was observed.

Source: China Economic Net, via Smart Agriculture Analytics, Beijing

Ausnutria strikes gold with goat milk baby formula

The other day, Ausnutria issued its annual financial statements for 2014. Last year, the company had total revenue of RMB 1.966bn, a 16.5% growth year on year. Ausnutria's goat milk infant formula brand Kabrita earned RMB 302.1m, growing a whopping 97.3% year on year.

Kabrita currently makes up less than 20% of Ausnutria's business, but it is positioned to take off in the near future. A company founder commented that he expects that Ausnutria's goat milk infant formula business will reach RMB 500m in 2015. The company plans to leverage this unique product to grow market share in the crowded infant formula industry.

Source: Smart Agriculture Analytics, Beijing

U.S. dairies to export 3.7 million pounds of cheese to Asia, Middle East

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT), Arlington, Va., accepted six requests for export assistance from Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers, Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold) and Upstate Niagara/O-AT-KA who have contracts to sell 3.702 million pounds (1.679 metric tons) of Cheddar, and Monterey Jack cheese, and 110,231 pounds (50 metric tons) of butter to customers in Asia and the Middle East. The product has been contracted for delivery in the period from June through November 2015.

Q1 revenues tumble for the Lithuanian dairy Vilkyskiu Pienine

First-quarter consolidated unaudited sales revenues of Lithuanian dairy Vilkyskiu Pienine AB Group declined 30% to 19.3 million EUR (about $21.4 million), compared to the same period last year. The company blamed the decrease on falling dairy product prices on the global market, decrease in demand and the subsequent embargo introduced by the Russian Federation.

Dairy suppliers exhibit at Brazil’s Fispal; win European packaging awards

At Fispal Technololgia 2015 in São Paulo, Brazil, packaging supplier Zip-Pak plans to show a range of resealable solutions. Packaging machinery company Pacmac will be running sample pouches with Press-To-Close zippers on its 9500 Series Vertical Form-Fill-Seal Machine at the Zip-Pak stand. The show runs June 23 to 26.

Packaging supplier Ampac, Cincinnati, Ohio, won two Alufoil awards from the European Aluminum Foil Association, and three AmeriStar Awards from the Institute of Packaging Professionals, for several of its product innovations including a marinade pouch and an antiseptic pouch.