Earleir this month, Valio's Belgian subsidiary, Valio-Vache Bleue, took over the operational and commercial activities of International Food & Business - Brussels Food Distribution (IFB-BFD).
This will allow the division, which is a specialist in prepacked cheeses, to distribute Freshpack products and services to the Belgian market.
There is a growing market for hand-packed cheeses with a short storage life. The use of Freshpack packaging has increased by 10 to 15 per cent annually, and Valio believes that a centralised delivery system of Freshpack products in the country using a common stock will ensure that more speciality cheeses can be delivered to stores.
The deal confirms Valio's ambition of consolidating its position as a major supplier of packaging to the Belgian cheese market.
The company's Belgian subsidiary already has a presence in the national market through brands such as Valio, Belleligne and Selection Cuisine, and in addition packages a number of other brands.
The division achieved consolidated gross sales of €93.8 million last year, and currently employs 120 workers.
IFB-BFD is considered one of the pioneers of the Belgian Freshpack market. The company was formed following an operational merger in 2001 between BFD and IFB-Cheval Berger.
In 2002, the company achieved net sales of €16 million.