Emmi is making the investments as part of plans to raise its international sales from less than a third of overall turnover to a half by 2014. Matthias Kunz, head of Emmi International, told DairyReporter.com that the company is intent on strengthening its international market position in anticipation of an opening up of the Swiss market.
France and Italy have been identified as core markets for the Emmi cheese business, and Kunz said the new investments in Diprola and Venchiaredo should help the company “grow heavily” in both countries.
In France, Emmi is taking a 25 per cent stake in Diprola, a holding company of family enterprise ETS Schopfer, which specialises in portioning and preparing cheese as well as packaging fresh cheese.
Kunz said the investment in the Avignon-based firm would give Emmi access to better logistics in France. Emmi also plans to leverage the fresh cheese packaging expertise at Diprola both in France and in neighbouring countries.
Meanwhile, in Northern Italy Emmi is acquiring a minority stake in Venchiaredo. As part of the collaboration, Emmi Italy will handle the sales and marketing activities for Venchiaredo.
In a statement, the company said: “Emmi is thereby reinforcing its market position in Italy while enhancing the volume of its own brand business via existing clients.
“At the same time, it can promote the development of its fresh cheese and mozzarella products under the Trentinalatte brand, both nationally and via the Emmi Group subsidiaries said both businesses.”
In pursuit of its 2014 international sales goal, Kunz said Emmi would continue to focus on core brands, while looking out for strategic investment opportunities.