News briefs: Parmalat and Quebec’s cheese stand

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: British cheese board, Cheese, Pasteurization, Dairy uk, Parmalat

This week, sales improvements fail to offset higher costs pressures on dairy group Parmalat, Quebec authorities allow for the production of some raw milk cheeses and two UK dairy associations join forces.

Parmalat outlines cost difficulties

Parmalat has posted a 9.1 per cent increase in sales for the first half of the financial year to €1.97bn, though was unable to offset declining profits over the period, according to the group’s preliminary results.

The Italy-based dairy group said that on an organic basis, operating profit was down by 10.4 per cent for the six-month period ending 30 June 2008 as milk costs and competition from private label brands hit the group hard.

The company said that operating margins over the period fell by 1.6 percentage points to 7.4 per cent over the same period last year, with year profit expected to be about 3 per cent if market conditions remain the same.

The company said that despite facing cost challenges over the half, higher pricing for its goods and an expanded portfolio of added value goods such as fruit juices and functional goods had pushed sales growth over the period.

Quebec lifts raw milk cheese prohibition

The Canadian province of Quebec is set to make a stand against general North American cheese making policy by allowing the sale of products derived from raw milk, according to news reports.

Gallic fare such as unpasteurized bries and Camembert’s will now be permitted to be produced in the region, which is the country’s largest consumer of the products, as a result of the local government decision, reports the Canadian news service, the GlobeandMail.com.

Under the ruling, manufacturers will now be able to supply the province with raw milk- derived cheeses aged for under 60 days, the report says.

UK cheese board merger

UK-based industry associations Dairy UK and the British Cheese Board (BCB) have announced they are teaming up to better address issues affecting the manufacturers of their produce.

The move announced earlier this week, will allow Dairy UK to represent all aspects of dairy manufacture both at national and European level.

BCB secretary Nigel White said the joint approach was increasingly important in the modern cheese market.

“Members will benefit from the professional lobbying and technical expertise of Dairy UK as well as the consumer facing work undertaken by the British Cheese Board,”​ he stated.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Cheese

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