ACCC okays Chinese dairy acquisition

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has given the nod to China Mengniu Dairy Company Ltd (Mengniu) for the proposed acquisition of Lion Dairy & Drinks Pty Ltd (Lion D&D).

“Mengniu Dairy was already looking for opportunities to diversify its business and expand its brand presence in the emerging markets. The transaction will allow Mengniu to enhance its presence in the Australian market and strengthen its portfolio by leveraging Lion’s longstanding brand presence and manufacturing and cold chain distribution hold across Australia. The transaction will strengthen Mengniu with a stronger foundation to excel in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region,” said Shagun Sachdeva, consumer insights analyst at GlobalData, a  data and analytics company.

Mengniu has recently completed the $2.2bn takeover of infant formula company Bellamy’s Australia, in line with its aggressive acquisition strategy. The series of acquisitions will create greater synergies for the group not only from the geographical footprint point of view but also from the supply chain perspective as well.

At the same time, Lion has been trying to sell its dairy portfolio since 2018, which comprises of Big M, Pura, Dairy Farmers, Berri and Daily Juice brands. In October last year, Lion sold its specialty cheese business to Saputo Dairy Australia, with plans to focus on high-margin alcoholic beverage and premium non-alcoholic drinks in Australia and New Zealand.

“According to Global Data, the APAC dairy and soy food sector is forecast to grow from $194bn in 2018 to $254bn in 2023, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.5 per cent,” said Sachdeva. “Milk was the largest category in the APAC dairy and soy food sector, followed by drinkable yogurt and cheese. The Australian dairy and soy food sector is expected to reach from $12.1bn in 2018 $14.8bn in 2023.

“The news of getting a green signal from ACCC comes at an extremely delicate time when China is going through tough times because of coronavirus and hence, it will be interesting to see how the deal will pan out in the future.”

Tickets released for Australian food safety event

The annual Asia Pacific Food Safety Conference (formerly the Australian HACCP Conference) will return for its 26th year on 20 August, with tickets available from 8 May. The conference brings together food safety professionals in Australia and local and international speakers to explore emerging food safety risks and discuss how the industry is meeting the challenge.

Held in Sydney from 20-22 August and hosted by the global leader in integrated risk management solutions SAI Global, the interactive three-day event kicks off with an optional food manufacturing site tour or HACCP Refresher course, followed by two days of educational talks and seminars from some of the industry’s most respected professionals – including SAI Global’s own auditors and trainers – and an exhibition.

Each year, the APAC Food Safety Conference is attended by more than 200 delegates across the retail, agriculture, food production and manufacturing, food packaging and food service industries.

John Rowley, CEO of SAI Global Assurance said, “We’re thrilled to be bringing a high calibre of speakers to this year’s APAC Food Safety Conference. It will offer the industry a valuable discussion forum on emerging food safety risks across the APAC region. We pride ourselves on hosting the country’s most important food safety event and look forward to bringing the industry together at yet another successful event.”

The 26th APAC Food Safety Conference will be held at Doltone House, 48 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont on 20-22 August from 9am-5pm.

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