Aussie dairy Lion opens 'largest specialty cheese facility in the Southern hemisphere'

By Mark ASTLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Aussie dairy Lion opens 'largest specialty cheese facility in the Southern hemisphere'

Related tags: Specialty cheese, Australia

Australian food and beverage firm Lion has opened what it claims is now the largest specialty cheese manufacturing facility in the Southern hemisphere.

Sydney-based Lion today unveiled the AU$150m (US$118m, €107m) upgrade and expansion of its specialty cheese plant, The Heritage, in Burnie, Tasmania.

It boasts a specialty cheese brand portfolio that includes South Cape, Tasmanian Heritage, Mersey Valley and King Island.

“Specialty cheese will be a key value driver for our business, as a growing category that is strategically important to our customers,”​ said Stuart Irvine, CEO, Lion.

“We have significant headroom to increase specialty cheese consumption and maximise the impact of our portfolio, and our strategy is focused on unlocking this opportunity.”

“Lion’s investment in The Heritage is integral to this, as we work to optimise the performance of our supply chain and achieve competitive efficiency and scale.”

Lion agreed to sell its everyday cheese business to Saputo-owned Australian dairy, Warrnambool Cheese and Butter (WCB), for AU$137.5m (US$109m, €98m) in March 2015.

WCB shareholders approved the transaction in April 2015.

Under the deal, WCB took control of Lion's cut and wrap operations in Victoria, and assumed ownership of Lion's everyday cheese brands, including Coon, Mil Lel and Cracker Barrel.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Cheese

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