Cheer is new name for Coon cheese

Saputo Dairy Australia, the operating subsidiary of Saputo. in Australia, is hereby issuing this media release to announce Cheer Cheese is the new name for Coon cheese in Australia. The name change follows Saputo’s careful and diligent review to honour the brand-affinity felt by our consumers while aligning with current attitudes and perspectives.

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Global dairy commodity update July 2020

Wholesale dairy markets rebounded strongly from the impacts of COVID-19 with worldwide closure of foodservice outlets – most importantly in the US and Europe – and the cessation of cross-border travel.

Trade was slower than the 2019 comparative for the first four months of 2020, impacted by some logistical difficulties due to COVID-19, but also against strong 2019 numbers for milk powders when prices were much lower. There were some timing factors that affected that – the peak of WMP trade was pushed earlier with the Chinese New Year, while the early 2019 run-out sale of SMP in the EU continued into March – meaning comparatives were strong.

The sustained strong retail sales, refilling foodservice outlets, government aid spending in the US, and slower milk supply effects have hauled cheese and butter prices off the floor.
This feels like a false dawn. A deep recession is unfolding due to the huge losses in income due to business closures, which will erode household spending in western markets and weaken developing world economies.

As the reality of recession takes hold, food spending in western economies will be impacted, reducing discretionary outlays, reducing the propensity to dine out and causing frugal spending in the grocery store.

The effect on ongoing cheese demand will be the most important driver of the impact on dairy markets, as processors’ response to weaker demand will push more milk to powder driers in coming months. In the outlook, EU and US cheese demand remains flat in H2-2020 before improving in 2021.

The impact on cream demand without food service consumption will push up butter production and stocks. Demand from export markets, also with weak foodservice sectors for the rest of the year, will not help, despite prices being more attractive.
The milk supply response will be all important in this outlook with likely different trends across major producers.

Skim milk powder
SMP and NFDM prices continued steady, recovering after the worst of the COVID-19 shocks, as cheese and butterfat markets also stabilised.
Whole milk powderSpot values remained mixed through June; NZ values improved, while EU product was steady. However, EU product continues to trade at a premium. WMP trade shrank (with exports to China 16 per cent lower) further in May, with export declines posted by NZ and Uruguay.

Global cheese markets are likely to be impacted through 2020 by the disruption to food service sales, but not all of the impact will be negative. Attention is focused on the impacts on demand in major EU and US markets, affecting export prices, but also SMP/butter output.

Global butterfat prices have converged with improving EU wholesale prices, while Oceania markets have weakened with demand reflecting the slow reopening of food service channels in major markets and the damage to consumer spending as recession bites.
While grocery and other food retail demand remains buoyant, there is no prospect that this can make up for the loss of butterfat sales into food service outlets.

Whey product prices have inevitably been caught in the complex impacts of COVID-19 due to changes in cheese production, relative protein values and the demand for certain applications.

Demand for Australian food exports prevails

Whether it’s a melt-in-your-mouth mozzarella for pizza night or a tangy parmesan to top off your favourite pasta, Dairy Free Downunder is bringing you all of your favourite cheese products, minus the dairy.

One of Australia’s only large-scale vegan cheese manufacturers, Dairy Free Downunder is  becoming a global player in the market for plant-based foods.

Due to attending Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL)’s Virtual Meet the Buyer events, Dairy Free Downunder has now started exporting to new customers in both Indonesia and Vietnam.

This development will see the family-owned business expand its global presence beyond its current customers in Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Brunei, Malaysia, and Singapore.

“FIAL’s Virtual Meet the Buyer has seen us continue to connect with new customers, despite travel restrictions,” said Dairy Free Down Under co-founder, Kevin Flanagan.

As the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre, FIAL quickly pivoted when travel restrictions and international tradeshow cancellations came into play, launching its Virtual Meet the Buyer initiative.

FIAL’s Virtual Meet the Buyer provides export-ready Australian food and agribusinesses the opportunity to secure a one-to-one meeting with buyers from all around the globe. From China’s Shandong and Jiangsu Provinces, through to Thailand and Singapore.

“Australian products are still very much in demand. Our Virtual Meet the Buyer event enables Australian businesses to overcome the hurdle of travel restrictions, maintaining and even increasing their connectivity to international markets. This will be key to sector recovery and growth,” said FIAL General Manager of Markets, Rod Arenas.

Commencing today, the fourth Virtual Meet the Buyer will see 142 one-to-one meetings between 48 Australian export-ready suppliers and 45 of Jiangsu Province’s key buyers. Participating buyers include Alibaba’s Hema supermarket and leading e-commerce retailer, Sunning. In-demand products range from superfood smoothies and functional coconut waters, to sparkling waters and premium cheeses. It was delivered in collaboration with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Austrade Shanghai, the Jiangsu State Government, and Global Victoria China

Global dairy commodity update March 2020

Dairy markets have reacted negatively to supply chain disruption and the fears of weaker demand due to the rapid spreading of COVID-19 outside China. The responses of China and other governments to contain the disease and limit the movement of people have impacted consumer spending in China, and severely disrupted milk flows, processing and land and sea logistics. However, uncertainty grows as we are now in the a global pandemic, rippling into several regions. The impacts on consumer demand, trade flows and product mix are impossible to forecast with any confidence.

The risk of contracting the disease will change the way people shop, whether they eat out, as well as how milk and ingredients reach processors and retailers.

Demand impacts are inevitable in affected regions. In the background, the underlying fundamentals of the global market remain relatively positive.

The tight balance in dairy markets might ease with improving growth in milk supply.

Skim milk powder
Spot and futures prices weakened by spread of COVID-19, shipping disruptions causing stock-builds. Average shipped prices continued to steadily improve in December. Global trade in the December quarter was 6.1 per cent weaker against high 2018 comparatives. With the December fall, the moving annual tonnage fell 1.7 per cent below peak SMP trade of 2,491mt reached in September.

Whole milk powder
European spot values softened in February while NZ prices recovered, tightening the gap between prices. Shipped prices improved month-on-month overall and across all major suppliers. NZ was still at a premium relative to South America.

NZ prices firm with improved demand and SMP/butter returns. EU and US market significantly below Oceania spot/GDT prices. The growth in global cheese trade remained steady at close to threesws per cent, excluding the effect of sales by Belarus to Russia.

EU demand has recovered, steadying prices. NZ spot prices are fragile with price-sensitive Asian market. The US market is weaker with improved milk production and ample cream supplies. While butter has continued to find better traction in SE Asia, China and MENA, AMF trade continued to shrink – trends have worsened in the past six months and continued in January with NZ shipments down 20 per cent.

EU spot prices rose slightly in January, steadying through February at $1,465/t. US prices continues to firm since the start of the year. The decline in global trade in whey products in 2019 was 5.4 per cent, mostly the result of weaker shipments into China and Hong Kong, which imported 24 per cent less, due to the culling of their pig herd to address swine fever and the imposition of punitive tariffs against US products.

Food and Beverage leads the way as coronavirus bites

The Australian food and beverage industry is leading the way to make sure that Australian consumers will not run out of the essentials as the country heads into an unprecedented lockdown.

Companies, such as Unilever’s Australian operation, are ramping up their production 24/7.

“What we have learnt during this challenging period is that it is imperative we work together as a community.,” said Clive Stiff, CEO Unilever Australia and New Zealand. “Our factories are operating 24/7 to try keep shelves stocked with essential food, personal care and cleaning products.”

Suppliers to the industry such as Inenco, have never been busier. “We are absolutely flat strap at the moment,” said the company’s national sales manager for lubricants, Steve Keown. “It’s unbelievably busy.”

As factories and food processing companies increase production, the after effect is that peripheral industries also need to step up to the plate – whether that be in health and safety, maintenance, sellers and resellers of plant and equipment – in order to make sure that manufacturing and processing plants can keep up with demand.

We here at Food & Beverage Industry News, have seen a spike in traffic as our core readers – procurement officers, maintenance managers and CEOs – look to make sure they are not only kept up to date with the latest news, but also to look for products and services that will keep their industry running and Australia fed.

Website traffic has grown significantly as we continue to engage with the market. All the latest and updated news is on

Global dairy commodity update

The fundamentals underpinning the global market outlook remain positive. While there has been a slight increase in milk output growth in major commodity exporters in late 2019, aggregate demand – in domestic and export markets – remained well ahead of the growth in milk supply.

The tight balance in dairy markets will gradually ease into 2020 with improving growth in milk supply as producers in the EU and US respond to better milk prices and farm margins, while the flow-on of higher product prices and the reduced availability of SMP may slowa tarade. The Coronavirus will however impact dairy trade in the short-term and cannot be ignored in our base outlook.

Dry weather in NZ, limits on growth due to weather and feed issues in parts of Europe, and ongoing challenges in Australia will help keep expansion of milk output in major exporters below 1 per cent in Q1-2020, increasing to 1.1 per cent in Q2-2020.

Skim milk powder
SMP trade slowed 4 per cent YOY in November, despite a continued resurgence in US trade which grew 44 per cent to lift US exports by 27 per cent for the three months to November. The US growth in November was again mostly due to stronger sales into SE Asia, where it is winning share due to a price advantage.

Since the clearance of intervention began, the EU accounted for 95 per cent of the growth (246,000t) in global trade of SMP to November 2019. EU exports in November were 60,003t – down 11.6 per cent YOY and a 15-month low. While the US and Canada grew trade, exports from every other major supplier fell in November.

Whole milk powder
Spot values are moving apart with NZ prices softening in December and recovering in January and remain relatively steady. The fear of disruption to trade and logistics in China due to Coronavirus weakened spot and futures prices late in the month.

The expansion of cheese imports by Russia still represented a significant portion (43 per cent) of overall market growth in the 11 months to November, while the growth in US imports ahead of the imposition of tariffs on EU product added 16 per cent in that period. Excluding these, the market grew just 2.3 per cent in 2019.

Butter trade is improving, with total tonnage up 32 per cent YOY in November but AMF trade worsened and fell 18 per cent YOY. Spot prices weakened in December as NZ values fell below US$4,000/t, narrowing the gap between EU and NZ values. NZ spot prices have since recovered with signs that demand has gained some traction at these lower prices.

The decline in global trade in whey products for the 11 months to November was 6.1 per cent, mostly the result of weaker shipments into China & HK which imported 26 per cent less, due to the culling of their pig herd to address swine fever and the imposition of punitive tariffs against US products.

Consumer demand expected to boost cheddar cheese market

There has been a shift in consumer preferences towards various types of nutrient and protein-rich foods that also promise healthy substitutes to everyday consumable products. Cheddar cheese is a multipurpose food product that has been used in the food industry in numerous applications.

The availability of cheddar cheese in the bakery sector and food product companies are increasing as a basic ingredient in most of the food preparations requiring cheese. This has boosted the demand for cheddar cheese in the global market. Increasing consumption of cheese in various types of cuisines is also anticipated to boost the overall production of cheddar cheese in the food industry.

Cheddar cheese is increasingly being preferred over natural cheese in several bakery and snack preparations. This has also led to increased consumption and hence production in the global market. Furthermore, growing consumer demand for cheese-based breakfast products is also expected to lead to a rise in the utilization of cheddar cheese in different breakfast products.

Study found that cheddar cheese fanatics are always experimenting with food and manufacturers are coming up with new varieties of food items. Moreover, the trend of fine gourmet, cuisine and luxury culinary items has inspired manufacturers to innovate their products in order to cater to the taste preferences of consumers. As a result, the development of block cheddar cheese is expected to trigger a mass demand for cheddar cheese especially in hotels, restaurants, and cafes. A growth in the demand for gourmet and artisanal cheese products is a key factor which is likely to boost the cheddar cheese market in the long run. The expansion of online and retail outlets resulting in the easy obtainability of cheddar cheese is anticipated to create lucrative opportunities for manufacturers in the coming years.

READ MORE: Global dairy commodity update

Europe and North America markets are moving towards a saturation point, so manufacturers of cheddar cheese are looking for regions that will present them with versatile opportunities in the future. The growing cheddar cheese market in Latin America will open a plethora of opportunities for market players to capitalize on. Europe is the largest consumer of cheese in the world. Several varieties of cheese are available in the region and the application of cheddar cheese is also widespread in the food industry in Europe.

Asia Pacific Excluding Japan (APEJ) is the third largest consumer of cheddar cheese and related products in the world. With the growing acceptance of western culture in the region, the food habits and taste preferences of people are also increasing at an extensive rate. In spite of the growing disposable income of people in the region, consumers still look for inexpensive food options. As a result, the demand for cheddar cheese is increasing in several countries in APEJ.

The study also found that Japan is slowly emerging as one of the lucrative markets for cheddar cheese with the trend of mild snacking increasing in the region. Moreover, with the trend of drinking gaining traction in Japan, having light snacks especially cheddar cheese has increased considerably as a home trend. Middle East and Africa is anticipated to present manufacturers of cheddar cheese with new and lucrative growth prospects. As the governments in these regions are looking forward to generate revenue from other sources apart from oil reserves, a variety of industries are emerging as highly profitable options. For instance, in September 2019, Arla Foods a Scandinavian dairy products company will scale up its commitment to develop a sustainable dairy sector in Nigeria.

This study underlines key opportunities in the cheddar cheese market and finds that the market would exhibit growth at a value CAGR of – 3 per cent during the forecast period.

Global dairy commodity update

The fundamentals underpinning the global market outlook continue to gradually improve as global milk supply slows and demand remains strong. This should keep prices relatively stable in the short-term. As for the recent outlook, the separate drivers of fat and protein values in Europe and Oceania have different implications for each of the respective commodities.

Minimal growth in European Union milk output, the clearance of intervention stocks, and the surge in demand for Skim Milk Powder (SMP) will continue to support protein prices, but the prospects for the European spring hold the key to sustained recovery. Butterfat prices in Europe have stabilised but will also remain sensitive to availability.
Market sentiment has improved in the US with shrinking milk growth. Cheese markets have rallied with tighter cheddar availability and risks of a shift in product mix given the divergent returns to regulated milk classes.

Global risks remain mixed, but promising signs of easing tensions between the US and China will boost confidence should that promising spin actually lead to a removal of tit-for-tat tariffs.

European Union and US cheese markets have firmed with weather-impacted tighter milk supplies. The US market has enjoyed a recent rally due to shortages of cheddar, helped by better returns to other products that has shifted milk use.

Skim Milk Powder
Global SMP trade continued to surge in December as prices remained attractive, lifting 26.2 per cent on the prior year comparable, bringing exports for the quarter 21 per cent ahead of the previous period. This reflected strong exports New Zealand and the European Union – and India, whose exports lifted to an all-time high (albeit a small quantity).

The butterfat market remains fragile, driven by the gradual weakening in European Union prices, while increased New Zealand availability has come to the market as demand remains tentative. The tighter European Union milk supply has not significantly curbed butter availability as superior returns for the butter/SMP has kept output stronger in major producers.

Whole Milk Powder
Increased New Zealand output with strong recovery in milk output has added to availability. This has kept prices lower through recent months prior to the Global Dairy Trade rally in the past six events. Prices have rallied past US$3,000/t for Oceania product, where they should hold with tightening New Zealand availability.

The imposition of Chinese tariffs has affected the United States market as export prospects slow. The market may gradually correct as supplies remains relatively tight. Shifts in shares in markets is occurring and will take some time to adjust. Meanwhile Whey Protein Concentrate markets improve.

By Dustin Boughton, Procurement, Maxum Foods

Keeping products fresh made easier

Cheese comes in all shapes, sizes and flavours. Whether it’s a creamy camembert, a blue cheese with extra bite, or a sharp parmesan, there’s a place for cheese in many dishes. One place cheese manufacturer Dairy Country doesn’t want its products to land is the in the trash. But, when cheese comes in packages as large as 20kg it can be a challenge creating an environment that keeps the product fresh. With help from Pulford Air and Gas, Dairy Country can keep cheese from being subjected to unwanted elements that cause it to go stale or mouldy.

Dairy Country’s products range from 100g retail and foodservice packs to 20kg bulk grated, shredded, shaved and block cheeses. It specialises in processing and supplying mozzarella, parmesan and tasty cheese. The company has a high-volume dairy processing facility that processes cheese products for the local and export markets. The company’s management team said maintaining the quality of the cheese while keeping operating costs low.

The Dairy Country team said they were able to successfully deliver products with the assistance of Pulford’s modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) technologies, ensuring the stated product life is achieved and, most importantly, impeding mould growth. “The MAP technologies provide the initial product security measures to consistently meet food safety standards and consumer expectations,” they said.

MAP can be used in a variety of applications and it covers a wide range of products such as meats, baked products, pre-cooked foods, cheese, powdered milks, coffee, wine, crisps, nuts and dried foods. The advantages of MAP include assisting in extending the preservation period of a product – allowing for better economies of scale, better inventory management and transport costs to be handled in the most profitable way. This helps maximise revenue and minimise losses. MAP also aids in reducing the level of additives and preservatives that are required in a product.

Pulford’s nitrogen and air services are used directly and indirectly on most products manufactured at Dairy Country, the team said. “Dairy Country generates its own nitrogen, in bulk, which reduces the cost of manufacture. In order to maintain this low operating cost, the machinery and equipment must be able to operate at the required capacity and capability all year round, they said.

“Dairy Country has a service contract agreement with Pulford to maintain its air compressors as well as the nitrogen generation plant. All machinery and equipment is maintained and planned according to OEM (original equipment manufacturer) service requirements at the required frequency. In addition, certain services are adjusted according to machine age, as well as input from Pulford, based on industry experience and knowledge.

“By maintaining the machinery in an ongoing reliable state, it allows us to meet our weekly production plan and operating targets as well as allowing for increased demand during the peak season,” the team said.

Pulford provides a cost effective service and the service and management teams are both flexible and supportive to the operation’s needs, which can quickly change and require an immediate response, they said. “With this type of commitment and service support, Dairy Country can remain focused on the daily operational KPIs and ensure all goals are met on a weekly basis.”

Pulford Air and Gas managing director, Tom Fyfe, said Pulford offers 24/7 service as many food manufacturers operate day and night. “We’ve got 25 technicians nationally that service the compressor air side and nitrogen generation technology side.” They are able to help with all MAP and nitrogen generation technology needs, he said.

“MAP is where nitrogen is injected into the packaging to reduce the amount of oxygen in the bag.” If cheese is still sealed and there’s no oxygen in the bag, or the oxygen is limited to half-a-per-cent, the shelf life extends well into six months, he said. “It depends on the way the product is prepared. As long as the packaging is sealed, it can be used for any type of food.” Depending on the product, the shelf life can be extended enormously, he said. Fyfe said he has seen products that are years old tested, and they were still useable at a good standard.

Fyfe reiterated that using nitrogen injections means products need less preservatives, which appeals to a lot of manufacturers. Many food and beverage producers are wanting to steer clear of preservatives where necessary, he said. “It’s certainly important in the wine industry. That is why wineries use nitrogen injections for the bottling process.”

Pulford has been helping businesses with gas injections for about 10 years. The company produces gas on site, giving the customer more control over usage and costs, said Fyfe. With Pulford’s system, 100 per cent of the gas can be used, rather than risking liquid or gas escaping, he said. “Particularly within the food industry, if they are half way through the processing or packaging of fresh product, it’s a huge cost to have to stop to source more gas.” But if a company runs out of gas unexpectedly mid-way through a packing run, even on the weekend, Pulford can supply more. The modular design of Pulford’s products also allows companies to add to the system as business increases or gas requirements alter.

Furthermore, while savings can be made by reducing waste, savings can also be made by simply producing nitrogen gas on site rather than getting it delivered, said Fyfe. Pulford offers low cost nitrogen, no gas rental or delivery charges, and an end to high gas costs and lengthy legal contracts.

Application of fat replacers in dairy products to create growth opportunities

Increasing demand for fat replacer in convenience foods and beverages, as well as bakery products and potential health benefits of fat replacer, are the key growth factors defining the Fat Replacer market. Also, the increase in health awareness among urban population and changing lifestyle due to rapid urbanization are the key parameters which boost the growth of the fat replacer market.

The prominent market players are strategically focusing on the introduction of enhanced product offerings to capture the maximum market share and improve the overall profitability. Urban consumers are aware of the new products that offer several benefits are available in the market which is the major driving forces for the consumer inclination towards fat replacers. The shifting preference towards consumption of dietary products among consumers owing to rising awareness regarding the various health benefits it offers, including normalized bowel movement, reduced cholesterol levels, controlled blood sugar levels and also aiding in maintaining healthy body weight is a significant factor driving the growth of the global market.

The North America market has been estimated to dominate the fat replacer market, accounting for the maximum revenue share of the market by 2018-end. Europe and Asia-Pacific markets are expected to account for over 25.7 per cent and 21.8 per cent revenue share, respectively, of the global fat replacer market by 2028 end. Among the emerging markets, APEJ is estimated to exhibit a significant CAGR of six per cent over the forecast period of 2018-2027, followed by MEA with 4.9 per cent, and Latin America with CAGR 4.6 per cent.

To provide in-depth insights on the pattern of demand for fat replacer market, the market is segmented on the basis of ingredient type; it includes carbohydrate-based fat replacer, protein-based fat replacer, and lipid-based fat replacer. The carbohydrate-based fat replacer is expected to dominate the fat replacer market over the forecast period in terms of value, which accounted for 53.4% per cent value share in 2018.

Also, due to the increase in demand for low-calorie content foods by consumers, the prominent fat replacer vendors and distributors are strategically entering in the APAC market with an objective to target the opportunities in the region. The fat replacer market in Europe and the North American region is matured, and hence, companies are targeting emerging markets to increase their sales revenues.

North America Region Critical in the Fat Replacer Market
The North America region is estimated to account for 37.2 per cent market share in the global Fat Replacer market in 2018, and this share is expected to grow by a massive rate of 284 BPS. This highly populated continent is spearheaded by the rapid economic growth in U.S and customers in this country will continue to demand the maximum fat replacer. The market value of over US$ 1,304.9 Mn in 2027 makes North America the behemoth in the global fat replacer market.

Global Fat Replacer Market: Competition Dashboard
Fact.MR has profiled some of the most prominent companies active in the global fat replacer market such as Cargill, Incorporated, Kerry Group Plc, Archer Daniels Midland Company, Royal DSM NV, Associated British Foods Plc, Ingredion, Inc., Tate & Lyle Plc, Ashland Global Holdings, Inc., FMC Corporation, Corbion NV, and others. The key players in fat replacer market are focusing on differentiated product offerings in order to expand their customer base and to enter the new markets.

Global Fat Replacer Market: Key Insights
The fat replacer market has grown consistently at a CAGR of 5.9 per cent, and the fat replacer market has been expanding at a greater pace. The convenience food & beverages and dairy products application is optimistic about fat replacer and is boosting the market competitiveness. Also, the changing consumption trends towards healthy food products is expected to stimulate the growth of the fat replacer market.

Global dairy report

Global milk supply growth is steadily declining as weather continues to be the major supply-side wildcard affecting the outlook for global dairy markets into first quarter of 2019. The full effect of any European feed shortages on milk output and product mix choices won’t be fully understood until early 2019.  These prolonged dry conditions with lower milk solids will impact product availability and we may see a lift in dairy commodity prices.

Meanwhile, closer to home, excellent New Zealand conditions have weakened, with risks of further drying due to the arrival of an El Niño event later in the season.

This could curb milk production in the Oceania region with milk intake already significantly impacted by drought and feed shortages in Australia as well.

The worsening US-China trade dispute is of course a hot topic in the dairy world and is affecting confidence and purchasing power across the Asian region. These trade wars threaten to undermine slow growth in commodity trade with weaker demand likely for China and Southeast Asia into 2019.

Whole milk powder
Whole milk powder values are trending weaker with New Zealand availability expected to grow 3-5 per cent in New Zealand peak milk supply.

Competition from Latam suppliers, taking advantages of weaker currencies, may weaken prices further. However, an expected El Niño event could dampen post-peak milk growth in New Zealand, which may impact whole milk powder values.

Skim milk powder
Skim milk powder values are set to improve in the EU as skim milk powder/butter valorisation is competitive against cheese. Skim milk powder has continued its incline as EU intervention stocks are starting to sell through, which means prices might start to firm.

The butter market is starting to free up in Oceania – in particular, New Zealand origin product, which is based on good Spring milk volumes. Australia is well down on milk flow, and hence fat is still tight. Continued growth in Chinese demand for fat related dairy products may see a floor come into this market and stabilise prices at these levels.

In Oceania, low fat values are expected to affect cheese prices. Furthermore, drought conditions in Victoria will hamper milk flow and could consequently put pressure on the supply of Australian-specific cheddar. Across the globe, the improving turnover in US cheese stocks – a result of improved food service and retail demand – could see prices firm.

Whey prices have started to level off after a few months of solid pricing. Due to the loss of Chinese demand and higher cheese output, US whey prices have drastically weakened, bringing the market back into balance.
By Dustin Boughton, Procurement, Maxum Foods – Your partner in dairy.

Bega Cheese buys Western Australian dairy facility for $250m

Bega Cheese is expanding its reach by buying a Western Australian facility for $250 million.

The company is purchasing Saputo Dairy Australia’s Koroit facility, which currently processes about 300ML of dairy products per year.

Bega expects the facility to generate about $20m at its current intake per year.

Items produced include milk, retail butter and milk powders.

READ: Bega Cheese buys Vegemite

As part of the transaction, Bega and Saputo entered into agreements whereby Saputi is required to guarantee the supply of 300ML milk per year until June, 2020. The transaction is subject to ACCC approval.

Bega CEO Paul van Heerwaarden said the Koroit facitily would give Bega operational flexibility its other milk processing sites.

It would also provide the cheese company with a better presence in Western Victoria, said van Heerwaarden.

“The acquisition will support the continued growth of our core dairy business and provide domestic and export customers with an expanded range of products.

“We welcome the 108 employees of Koroit to Bega Cheese.”

Bega executive chairman Barry Irvin said it was a delight to have acquired the dairy facility.

“Bega Cheese has been collecting milk in Western Victoria for almost 1 years and the opportunity to acquire such significant and quality infrastructure will cement our presence in one of the strongest dairy regions in Australia.

“We will work closely with dairy farmers to grow supply to the Koroit Facility. This is another important step in creating an Australian owned dairy and food company that is competitive and efficient in Australia and the world.”



Beston Food Company in talks with SA milk suppliers ahead of cheese expansion

More than 20 South Australian dairy farm owners have agreed to supply milk to the Beston Global Food Company (BFC) as part of an agreement that will see the company purchase an additional 60 million litres annually.

The deal marks an effort to underpin future cheese production at BFC’s Murray Bridge and Jervois facilities, calling on help from farms reaching Mount Gambier to the Barossa Valley.

To ensure its rapidly growing cheese operations, BFC has said it requires around 90 million litres of milk in the 2018 financial year – a substantial increase from the 20 million litres it sources from its own farms each year.

“We are in talks with other dairies in major South Australian milk production areas and expect to reach the target in the coming weeks,” said Sean Ebert, BFC’s CEO.

“All of the dairies involved have been supplying other national food groups and were looking for alternatives.”

BFC is in the process of installing a state-of-the-art mozzarella plant at its Jervois factory and expects to produce a minimum of 5,000 tonnes per annum when it is commissioned later this year.

In May, BFC subsidiary Beston Pure Foods’ Edwards Crossing was named Best Cheddar Cheese in Australia at the 2017 Dairy Industry Association of Australia awards.

Best of Australian dairy announced

Winners of the 2017 Dairy Industry Association of Australia’s (DIAA) Australian Dairy Product Competition were announced at a dinner in Melbourne on 11 May 2017.

Mossvale Blue (pictured) made by Berrys Creek Gourmet Cheese in Gippsland, Victoria was crowned Australia’s best cheese and the most outstanding show exhibit.

In other awards, Victoria’s Dooley’s Ice Cream proved the most consistent for the fourth year in a row, with most of Dooley’s products entered into the competition earning gold or silver medals.

Mauro Montalto from Melbourne’s Floridia Cheese was awarded the title of Australia’s best cheesemaker, for Floridia Ricotta.

The DIAA’s Australian Dairy Product Competition is the only technical national dairy competition, judged by industry experts. The competition was first held in 1895, by one of the DIAA’s founding bodies, the Butter Factories’ Managers Association.

On 6-8 March 2017, more than 40 judges and stewards were on hand to judge more than 1,000 entries in more than 100 categories at the DIAA national offices in Werribee, Victoria.

The judges awarded 180 gold medals and 781 silver medals to dairy products from all over Australia. Gold medal winners are invited to enter the Australian Grand Dairy Awards, administered by Dairy Australia.


Warrnambool Cheese & Butter takes home four awards

Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory (WCBF), producers of brands Coon Cheese, Cracker Barrel, Great Ocean Road and Warrnambool Heritage has won the award for best cheddar at the 2017 Dairy Industry Association of Australia’s Awards of Excellence held in Melbourne.

John Williams, General Manager Consumer Goods, also picked up the John Bryant Gold Medal for services to the dairy industry.

Showing the diversity of WCBF products, its Sungold Jersey Low Fat Milk won the best- modified category, its Heritage Vintage Cheddar won for Highest Scoring Consumer Pack Cheddar and Mil Lel Superior Parmesan won the Sopura Australia Award for Best Hard Cheese.

The Mil Lel win follows two national awards for Very Hard Cheese and Italian Style Cheese in the 2016 awards.

“The DIAA Awards is always a much anticipated event on the dairy industry’s calendar, so to come away with the number of wins that we have is fantastic for all involved,” said WCBF Marketing Manager Mike Murray.

The Dairy Industry Association of Australia’s Awards of Excellence are an annual celebration of the best in Australian Dairy Products.

Dairy-free cheddar an NZ first

Innovator of dairy-free products, Angel Food has created New Zealand’s first- ever vegan cheddar – free from dairy, eggs, meat and GMOs – and instead made with peas, sunflowers and corn.

“Cheese is one of those things that many people find the hardest to give up when they go dairy-free,” said Angel Food CEO and founder, Alice Shopland. “That’s why we’ve created this convenient, tasty substitute. We want to make it easy for people to cut back on dairy.”

The release of the dairy-free cheddar alternative also marks a milestone for the Auckland-based company, which has been in the business of creating plant-based products for a decade. It is the first in a series of new Angel Food releases, developed to meet the growing market demand for dairy-free.

The brand was originally founded by Shopland so that those who are dairy-free, vegetarian or vegan can still enjoy their favourite food rituals. Its products are designed for maximum enjoyment and minimum intolerance.

“It’s important to be able to have pizza with your mates on a Friday night – even if you are vegan or lactose intolerant,” explained Shopland.

It’s also why the company has worked hard to ensure their products are not only convenient but also widely available.

Plant-based and certified by the Vegetarian Society, Angel Food’s new dairy-free cheddar alternative is available to buy nationwide in supermarkets, health food stores and online this month.

The cheddar joins its existing range of ready-made cheese sauces and dairy-free mozzarella and parmesan alternatives. Angel Food’s dairy-free mozzarella alternative is also available at Hell’s Pizza.

New Fonterra factory to boost cheese capacity

The new Fonterra cheese factory in Stanhope is expected to produce 45,000 tonnes of cheese per year for domestic and export markets.

The factory should open before June this year and dairy suppliers stand to benefit its demand for milk.

According to Fonterra chief executive Rene Dedoncker, the north Victorian factory will fill the need for speciality cheeses such as soft brie and blue cheese, which the company sees as a gap in its Australian manufacturing base.

As for overseas exports, a company spokesperson cited a growing demand for Mozzarella across Asia, particularly in China and Japan.

“The market [is] in short supply, so we expect required milk volumes to be sizeable,” she told The Australian Dairy Farmer.

Fonterra’s milk supply general manager Matt Watt said the factory will see a 50 per cent increase in capacity compared to the previous Stanhope factory, which was demolished and rebuilt after a fire caused damage throughout the plant.

“To make the most of this additional capacity, we know we’ll need to be competitive across our milk pools, and particularly in northern Victoria, to retain and attract supply,” Watt told ADF.

“We’ve been talking to farmers interested in supplying us about what we can offer them and their business. The most important way we support our farmers is by offering a strong milk price, based on the price we can earn in the global market for their milk.”

Bonlac Supply company chairman Tony Marwood said that while nothing has been signed off, it is clear that Fonterra has made a big investment in cheese in Stanhope, and that whatever deals come from the new plant, they will be fair to all suppliers.

The new factory will retain all employees from the previous factory, as well as hiring an additional 30 employees.

Qld gelato named Australia’s best dairy product

Milani House of Gelato’s Dark Chocolate Gelato has been awarded the 2017 Grand Champion Dairy Product award, the top prize at the Australian Grand Dairy Awards.

The Queensland-based gelataria’s win was one of 20 awards handed out in this, the 18th  year of the awards. Tasmania’s Heidi Farm took out the 2017 Grand Champion Cheese award with its robust Raclette – a consistently superb semi-hard melting cheese with a pleasant sweet and nutty-mid palate and some lingering umami savoury characters.

For the first time this year, the Australian public was also given the opportunity to play judge to determine the champion cheese of the new People’s Choice category. More than 3,500 consumers cast their vote to reveal King Island Dairy’s Black Label Double Brie as the inaugural People’s Choice Award.

In what was a rigorous judging process, a panel of 24 expert judges tasted their way through the hundreds of gold medal winning dairy foods – including cheese, ice cream, milk, butter, cream, yoghurt, dips and gelato – assessing flavour, aroma, texture, body and appearance.

Flavours influenced from different corners of the globe were represented in the coveted list of Champions with locally produced European and Indian style dairy products such as Montefiore’s Trecce, That’s Amore Cheese’s Diavoletti, House of Riz’s Traditional Greek Rice Pudding and Sharma’s Kitchen’s Mango Lassi all taking out the top spot in their category.

“These Awards are the grand final of dairy competitions in Australia, recognising the talented Australian farmers and producers who bring such high quality dairy foods to our fridges,” said Amanda Menegazzo, convener of the Australian Grand Dairy Awards.

“The quality and variety represented by our 2017 Champions marks a really exciting time for the industry and dairy lovers. It’s really pleasing to see some of the country’s well known and loved supermarket brands alongside new-to-the market, artisan dairy products. We encourage Australians to look out for the blue and gold Champion and Grand Champion medals on pack and show their support for these talented Australian producers.”

The full list of 2017 Australian Grand Dairy Awards Champions:

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Research Check: can eating aged cheese help you age well?

Most people are interested in how to slow the ageing process, or at least they get more interested as the years tick by. So when new research promises to have discovered the secret, which happens to include eating more of a food that tastes great but often appears on “eat less” food lists, it is bound to make the headlines.

According to a recent article in The Sydney Morning Herald, “aged cheese could help you age well”. The article was based on research published in the journal Nature Medicine. It showed that spermidine – a compound found in aged cheese, legumes and whole grains – could extend the life of mice when added to their drinking water.

A separate study within the Nature Medicine paper looked at the diets of around 800 Italians. It concluded that those who had a high spermidine intake had lower blood pressure and a 40% lower risk of heart failure and other heart diseases.

So if the newspaper report is accurate, then it would be time to get out the cheese and crackers. But before the party starts, let’s take a closer look at the original paper, in which cheese plays a very small, almost insignificant, part.

The Conversation, CC BY-ND


Spermidine is a naturally occurring compound originally found, as its name suggests, in semen. It is present throughout the human body and plays a vital role in cell survival. Studies have shown spermidine supplements can extend the lifespan of worms, flies and yeast.

The Nature Medicine paper is a series of several studies and analyses in mice, rats and humans.

Studies in mice

The first study compared the effects of adding spermidine, or the related compound spermine, to drinking water in mice, and the effects of not doing so; for either their whole life or starting only at middle age. Researchers found adding the compounds increased lifespan: good news if you are a mouse.

Two groups of mice were tested for spermidine’s effects on different health measures.

The next analysis is bad news for mice. Researchers looked for the development of tumours related to ageing in the mice in the first study and found no difference between the supplemented and unsupplemented mice.

This meant the supplement in the water didn’t prevent tumours mice get due to ageing. The conclusion then drawn was that the longer life seen in the first study was not due to cancer prevention.

There was not much difference in the heart tissue between groups that had spermidine and those that didn’t. So researchers looked more broadly at heart characteristics and found the hearts in the supplemented group were structurally more healthy.

There were a number of other comparisons that looked at hearts in mice.

The rat study

In the rat study, salt-sensitive Dahl rats – a type bred to develop high blood pressure when fed a high-salt diet – were given food really high in salt. Half of the rats had spermidine added to their drinking water and half did not.

From weeks nine to 15 of the study, the rats in the spermidine group had significantly lower blood pressure compared to the others. But at the end of the study there was not much difference between the two groups.

The human study

The diets of 100 Italians were put under the microscope.

In the final human analysis, researchers recorded the diets of more than 800 Italians at three time points (1995, 2000 and 2005) and the number of heart-related events they experienced. These were high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke and premature death from heart disease over the 15 years from 1995 to 2010.

The study found about a 40% lower risk of heart failure, both fatal and non-fatal, among those with the highest spermidine intakes compared to those with the lowest. It also found a significantly lower risk of any heart disease – based on a composite score that included acute coronary artery disease, stroke, high blood pressure and death from vascular disease – among those with the highest versus lowest spermidine intakes.

Of greatest relevance to this analysis is that the biggest contributor to spermidine intakes in this cohort was wholemeal foods, accounting for 13.4% of intake. Next were apples and pears (13.3%), salad (9.8%), vegetable sprouts (7.3%) and potatoes (6.4%). Aged cheese was listed sixth and accounted for only 2.9% of estimated spermidine intake.

What can we take from it?

This extensive body of work is a credit to the researchers involved and does suggest that, at least for mice and rats, investigating the health-promoting effects of spermidine is worthwhile. However, the animal studies were small – with fewer than 15 animals per group – and the number of analyses done increases the potential for some findings to occur by chance.

When analysing differences between groups, as the mouse research in this paper did, one cannot claim spermidine changed a particular value – such as heart muscle strength – in the animals. This is because their heart muscles were not measured before they were given spermidine to compare the before and after effects, so you can only focus on differences between groups.

It’s better to say the outcome was higher or lower, or more or less frequent, in the spermidine-supplemented group compared to unsupplemented animals.

Of major importance in the human cohort study, which followed people for more than 15 years, is that it was not cheese that accounted for the majority of their spermidine intake. Also because this study was observational, it only showed associations, not cause and effect.

Also of note when you read the research is that, unlike the media report suggested, the mice were not fed cheese. A lot more research would be needed, and much more in humans, before claiming spermidine in cheese is the new superfood.

In the human study, although we weren’t told what the participants’ overall usual food habits were, we do know high intakes of whole grains, vegetables and fruit are characteristic of foods recommended for good health and longevity generally.

Try increasing your intakes of these foods and, for a variety of reasons, they’re very likely to help you age well. – Clare Collins

Peer review

The Nature Medicine paper found a correlation between the health of human participants and the amount of spermidine found in their diet. Unfortunately, although this part of the work is tantalising, it is still correlative: who knows whether there is some other ingredient in those foods that improves health, or whether people who preferred to eat those foods were already predisposed to better health?

The Nature Medicine paper also showed spermidine extended lifespans in mice. The animal studies were well performed and showed differences between groups in measures of heart function. But as the author of this Research Check states, a comparison where heart function would have been measured just before and just after drug treatment was not shown.

I believe this is okay, as animals were treated with spermidine for large proportions of their lifetimes, and such a comparison would have been confounded by the effects of ageing. So the comparisons between treated and untreated groups are adequate.

The key difficulty with moving spermidine forward is our understanding of how it works. Spermidine has been demonstrated to promote a process called autophagy, where the cell literally eats part of itself. This is actually a very good thing. By breaking down parts of the cell, old machinery gets destroyed and is replaced by new cellular machinery.

Autophagy is turned on when we exercise or go on a diet, but turned off when we eat too much or sit on the couch, so this could be how spermidine is beneficial.

Scientists like to understand every fine detail of how drugs work. The precise molecular biology of spermidine, and in particular what parts of the cell it interacts with, are poorly understood. Once we know how this works better, spermidine could well find its way into a new therapy. – Lindsay Wu

The Conversation

Clare Collins, Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Newcastle and Lindsay Wu, Senior Lecturer, School of Medical Sciences, UNSW Australia

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.


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