Earlier today, Tetra Pak announced the acquisition of Olsztyn-based Obram, which specialises in technology to produce fresh, cottage and semi-hard cheese, for an undisclosed sum.
Established in 1976, the company, which will continue to trade as Obram, is among the leading providers of cheesemaking technology in Poland, Russia, Belarus, and Eastern Europe.
Speaking with DairyReporter.com, Tim High, executive vice president of processing systems, Tetra Pak, said Obram's proximity to Russia offers significant "opportunities."
“The Russian embargo has had a significant impact on a number of cheese makers in the European Union,” said High.
“After a period of confusion in Russia, we are seeing an increase in local cheese production. Obram is well situated for this.”
Meanwhile, cheesemakers affected by the Russian embargo in Europe are “looking for efficiencies,” he said.
“We've seen good interest from European customers looking to improve their overall operations.”
"Good mix of portfolios"
Cheese consumption is forecast to grow 16% globally in the next decade, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Agricultural Outlook.
Fresh soft cheese is expected to account for around 50% of this growth, said High.
Tetra Pak believes the acquisition of Obram will enhance its ability to meet demand for technology, particularly from India, Central America and South America, where consumer interest in fresh cheese is "growing at a tremendous pace."
"It's a very good mix of portfolios, with very little overlap," said High.
"They don't have their own components, so we also have the opportunity to supply Tetra Pak and Tetra Laval components."
Commenting, Zbigniew Raczynski, president and CEO of Obram, said the deal "is full of potential."
"...it will help us to grow our business through Tetra Pak's global sales channels, while allowing us to provide a broader range of products and services to our existing customers - everything from filtration and whey treatment to technical support and parts," he said.
High branded the acquisition of Obram the latest "part of an overall strategy Tetra Pak embarked on more than 10-years ago."
In December 2006, Tetra Pak acquired Carlisle Process Systems (CPS), a firm specialising in cheese and whey powder production equipment.
"Until that point, Tetra Pak had no in-house evaporators or dryers," said High.
Nearly seven-years later in September 2013, Tetra Pak complemented its investment in CPS with the acquisition of Danish membrane filtration technology manufacturer, DSS Silkeborg.
"Since then we have been very well positioned in the cheese and whey markets, particularly in pizza cheese, hard and semi-hard cheeses."
Looking ahead, High revealed Tetra Pak is "looking at more opportunities in whey processing and the water treatment technologies associated with whey powders."