Fonterra was the name chosen by New Zealanders when they decided to merge the New Zealand Dairy Board, that was born in 1920 and dealed with exports, with the two largest dairy cooperatives in Oceania. Fonterra is the world’s leading exporter of milk and the fourth largest producer on the planet and its owners are 12,000 dairy farmers. It is and is managed as a cooperative, maintaining an almost century-old tradition. In Chile it owns Soporle, the leader in the Andean country.
In these days, Fonterra resonates in Argentina, according to a version of sources of the dairy business. There would be seven auditors who, with surgical precision, check the Sancor numbers in their Buenos Aires offices on Tacuarí Street for a purchase that would be presented as an association. Cooperativists understand each other.
SanCor was consulted but they denied the audit and slipped that negotiations are ongoing with several interested parties. In addition to Fonterra, there is the Mexican Lala, the leader in Central America with 163 production and distribution centers. There is also the French Lactalis, another dairy queen, who annually invoices US$ 20 billion. Lactalis was founded 90 years ago by André Besnier and handles brands such as Parmalat, Lactel, and Celia, among others.
Other people linked to the signature of Sunchales present as imminent the outcome in favor of Fonterra and even describe it as the only possibility for SanCor reborn. The cooperative in crisis does not get to daily collect a million liters of milk, when its processing capacity scales to 4 million.
SanCor’s difficulties erupted earlier this year and did not get worse thanks to the government’s latest disbursement of $ 450 million.
In the interim, the union reversed with a controversial extra payment that required companies $ 3,700 per month per employee, that was later reduced to $ 750 in the case of SMEs and $ 1,500 in the case of the bigger companies.
It was a relief for the whole industry and for SanCor it meant saving almost $ 10 million a month. In addition, it decided to move away the board of directors from the day to day of the cooperative, concentrating the management in Marcelo Gornati, its current general manager.
According to one of the creditor banks of SanCor, the obstacle to concrete a partnership or sale is that the future buyers demand another labor regime. Agribusiness and Labor ministries are working jointly with the dairy union, and its boss, Hector “Etin” Ponce, relaxed positions facing with the possibility that many will be out of work. SanCor is crucial in the interior of the country with its 16 plants, the majority in Cordoba, some in Santa Fe and almost all in towns that live of the cooperative.