Campina plots dairy expansion in Russia

By Chris Mercer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Fresh dairy products Campina Milk Dairy

Dutch dairy co-operative Campina has got clearance from Russian
authorities to expand its dairy drinks production in Moscow as
demand for fresh dairy soars.

Campina said the planned expansion at its Stupino factory near Moscow would take the group's investment in Russia to more than $100m.

Campina claimed its Fruttis fruit yoghurt was the fastest growing brand in Russia.

"Yoghurt drinks sell like hot cakes,"​ said group chief executive Tiny Sanders. "Our people have to keep production running round the clock in order to meet the demand of the Russian consumers."

Campina only began making dairy drinks in Moscow in January this year, yet the group has tripled its yoghurt production capacity at Stupino since 2000.

Sanders, who recently met Russia's president Vladimir Putin after Campina was voted the best-performing Dutch firm in Russia, said Campina was also looking to expand in other regions outside of Moscow.

Campina said it had recorded average growth of more than 10 per cent in recent years, showing how its early entrance on the Russian market, back in 1992, has paid off.

The Russian dairy sector is considered to be the most innovative within the Russian food market, and has witnessed steady development of functional and added value products.

Campina said it was keen to expand into fresh dairy products, which it believes hold much potential in Russia.

"Fresh dairy products may sound rather mundane but in a country where transport to Vladivostok takes eight weeks, long-life products are the standard."

A focus on fresh dairy products would inevitably require Campina to establish facilities in more Russian regions, although the group already distributes these in Moscow and some other western areas.

Campina is already the second largest supplier of sweet desserts in Russia, with a 15 per cent market share thanks to its Puddis and Piruet brands.

And the co-operative said it was actively involved in variety of support projects for Russian dairy farmers to help improve milk quality and conditions on dairy farms.

"Dairy farming forms a crucial link in the chain - from cow to consumer - and is vital for the quality of the end product,"​ the firm said.

Milk prices have soared in Russia over the last year, mainly due to shortages in the quality required by big dairies, creating problems for milk processors' margins.

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