KYVALLEY Dairy Group’s Mulcahy family has bought the Kiewa Country Milk brand and processing equipment from Murray Goulburn. By: PETER HEMPHILL
The move could see the heritage brand relaunched within weeks, after MG stopped production of fresh milk from the Kiewa processing plant in July.
The deal does not include the Kiewa factory nor provide Kyvalley Dairy Group with dairy farmer suppliers from north eastern Victoria.
Kyvalley Dairy Group director Wayne Mulcahy said he hoped the Kiewa Country Milk brand would help the family business achieve its aim of annually processing 100 million litres of milk by 2020.
Already, the group processes about 55 million litres of milk a year, and is Australia’s largest exporter of fresh milk into Asia.
Mr Mulcahy, who runs the business with brothers David and Peter, said the company saw Kiewa Country Milk as a cherished brand, with a long history.
“The brand was the primary interest and the processing equipment secondary,” he said.
“We asked (Murray Goulburn) about the equipment.
“They originally weren’t inclined to sell us the equipment until we told them we didn’t want the brand unless we have the equipment.
“So then we did a deal on the equipment.”
The Mulcahys will relocate the equipment to their existing factory base at Kyabram.
“This deal helps with our capacity and capability (of processing fresh milk),” Mr Mulcahy said.
“Hopefully, it will bolster jobs in the region.”
The Mulcahy family began its dairy processing and export operation when the dairy industry was deregulated in 2000.
It started exporting fresh milk in bulk to Malaysia in 2006 and Singapore a few years later.
“In the past two or three years, the volumes have really increased and last year, we exported 800 (refrigerated) 20-foot containers,” Mr Mulcahy said.
He said Kyvalley Dairy Group began exporting fresh milk to China in one-litre plastic bottles in 2012 and planned to launch new products for the Chinese market later this year.
A MG spokesman said the transaction remained subject to completion and the terms confidential.
Source: The Weekly Times