Corporate dairy farmer Southern Pastures has signed a three-year $50 million sustainability-linked farm loan with BNZ.
Peter Cullinane, who launched the company in July 2012, has sold his stake to Southern Pastures, which now owns 100% of the company.
Southern Pastures, which operates 20 dairy farms in Waikato and Canterbury, bought a cornerstone stake in Lewis Road Creamery three years ago and progressively increased its stake.
Cullinane says it’s been an incredible journey that started with a simple idea at his kitchen table.
“And now to see the brand mature safely in the hands of investors who are farmers of such integrity and quality is a fantastic conclusion,” he says.
Lewis Road Creamery’s product range includes premium butter, yoghurt, ice cream and flavoured milk.
Southern Pastures chairman Prem Maan says Cullinane has created an amazing brand.
“We're proud to take on the responsibility of building on it to produce the best premium dairy products New Zealand has to offer," says Maan.
“We're convinced that farming can be a powerful tool for environmental good in addition to providing economic returns.
“We have a long-term vision to produce carbon-neutral dairy in New Zealand and we see Lewis Road Creamery as part of that grass-to-glass journey.”
Southern Pastures produces milk under a stringent independently certified 10 Star Certified Values Program which stipulates grass-fed, free-range, climate-change mitigation, human welfare, animal welfare, GMO-free, palm products free, growth hormones free, antibiotic stewardship, and environmental sustainability requirements.
Premium milk produced under the Southern Pastures 10 Star program is currently used in Lewis Road Creamery’s grass-fed butter sold in Whole Foods and other stores across the US and Woolworths stores throughout Australia.