It was a great day for Fonterra at this year’s virtual 2020 NZ Cheese Awards.
The acquisition includes the property, plant and equipment of the Temuka site, along with the consumer cheese brand (Talbot Forest Cheese). The deal excludes Talbot Forest Cheese artisan factory in Geraldine.
In a statement Synlait says it assumes management and operational control of Talbot Forest Cheese as of today: Talbot Forest Cheese employees start with Synlait.
“We’re pleased to finalise this sale process and welcome Talbot Forest Cheese employees into the Synlait family”, says Leon Clement, Synlait chief executive.
“The acquisition enables us to manufacture a variety of cheese products. It also helps us optimise our manufacturing assets (especially during peak seasonal flows), access new profit pools, and align with our approach to run a high-quality, flexible dairy manufacturing plant that enables us to tailor product to meet customer needs.”
In June 2019 Synlait appointed Andrew Bull as general manager Talbot Forest Cheese.
Bull says he feels extremely privileged to be leading a legacy created by Paul Fitzsimons, founder of Talbot Forest Cheese, and his team.
“We have talented staff, world class assets and award winning cheeses that provide a strong foundation for growth in both the speciality and foodservice sectors.”
Bull says Synlait plans to produce around 5,000 tonnes of cheese during the 2019-20 season.
“Our highly automated plant is capable of manufacturing both dry and brine salted products, including parmesan, cheddar, gouda and mozzarella for both retail and foodservice customers. In addition, we have retained the ability to make open vat cheeses such as haloumi and feta, which are extremely popular.”
These products, along with ingredient cheeses made to customer specifications, will be sold to the local and international wholesale markets.