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Emmi eyes improved sheep, goat product market position through deal

By Mark Astley , 08-Jan-2013
Last updated the 08-Jan-2013 at 17:47 GMT

Emmi has acquired a 70% stake in AVH Dairy Trade BV for an undisclosed sum.
Emmi has acquired a 70% stake in AVH Dairy Trade BV for an undisclosed sum.

Dairy processor Emmi has acquired a 70% stake in the goat’s and sheep’s milk products trader AVH Dairy Trade BV – a move it hopes will strengthen its position in the niche market for sheep and goat dairy.

Switzerland-based Emmi revealed that it intend to strengthen its position in the international market for goat’s and sheep’s milk products. According to the firm, the acquisition of Netherlands-based AVH Dairy Trade BV is a “further step in this direction.”

AVH Dairy Trade BV is an international trader of goat’s and sheep’s milk products, including cheese, milk powder, and protein concentrates. Its product portfolio is marketed mainly in the European Union (EU), the US and Asia.

The deal, which came into effect on 1 January 2013, was completed for an undisclosed fee.

Deal “completes” portfolio

A spokesperson for Emmi told DairyReporter.com that acquiring AVH Dairy Trade BV “completes” its own goat’s and sheep’s milk product portfolio.

“The product portfolio ideally completes Emmi’s goat and sheep milk product portfolio. So far, Emmi sells goat cheese in Switzerland and in the US. AVH is primarily active in the EU, US and Asia,” said the spokesperson.

The spokesperson added, however, that Europe and the US will remain the focus of its expanded sheep and goat milk product portfolio.

“The target countries are Emmi’s key markets: the US, UK, the Benelux countries, Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland as the home market,” said the spokesperson.

“Niche” market

Demand for sheep’s and goat’s milk products has developed in recent years, according to Emmi. Sheep’s and goat’s milk, yogurt, milkshakes, and cheeses have driven this growth.

This development can be observed in many developed markets and Asia, said the spokesperson.

Emmi added that this growth has been driven by three factors – lactose intolerance, the high protein and calcium levels in sheep’s and goat’s milk, and the increasing popularity of traditional cheese ranges.

According to the company's spokesperson, the market for goat and sheep milk products is likely to remain “niche” despite recent growth.

“Goat and sheep milk products will remain a niche market,” said the spokesperson.

“Take France as an example with a total per capita consumption of cheese of about 25kg; thereof goat milk cheese represents somewhat more than 2kg. Being such a small segment it is obvious that the goat and sheep milk product segment increases more than cow milk products.”

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