Jackson-Mitchell, Inc., the firm behind the Meyenberg brand of milk, butter and cheddar cheese, and Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery Inc. have agreed to merge into a new entity – Darey Brands.
The newly-formed company will be run by a joint executive team under the direction of MD and CEO Bonnie Neulight. Swiss dairy group Emmi – owner of both Jackson-Mitchell and Redwood Hill Farm – will also own Darey Brands.
“The retail dairy category is very competitive and as a united company, we will create efficiencies and strength to serve our customers and consumers with innovative, better-for-you dairy solutions,” Neulight told DairyReporter.
“Our brands, however, will remain the same and the merger will have little impact on our consumers. The most significant change will be the company name. Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery, Inc. and Jackson-Mitchell, Inc. will transition to Darey Brands. We expect to complete the transition in early 2023.”
Existing production facilities in Sebastopol and Turlock, California, will remain operational, we were told. There will be no changes to the product portfolio, which includes Redwood Hill Farm and Green Valley Creamery products as well as Meyenberg. Besides dairy goat milk-based offerings, Darey Brands will also manufacture dairy alternatives, including plant-based.
The new company will also leverage the influence of its multinational owner Emmi, which is behind dairy brands Le petit chevrier and Benecol among others. “We have a tremendous global network at Emmi Group with leading dairy companies in 15 countries that make products in every dairy category there is. We intend to tap into this vast experience and expertise,” Neulight said.
Putting ‘comfort’ back into comfort food
Discussing Darey Brands’ ambitions, Neulight said the company will aim to maintain its sustainable initiatives and traditions in animal welfare. “Redwood Hill’s founder, Jennifer Bice, led the way in 2005 when her farm became the very first goat dairy in the US to be Certified Humane. Today, all fresh goat milk and organic cow milk we source across all entities comes from Certified Humane family farms.”
She continued: “We operate 100% on renewable energy at our facility in Sebastopol. Solar, geothermal and wind power supply our energy needs there. We also continuously reduce emissions and energy use at both manufacturing sites. For example, we use LED lighting, electric forklifts, and electric car charging stations.
“We also continuously strive to reduce water and waste. In 2021, we reduced water usage at our Turlock facility by 50%. At our Sebastopol site, we have a closed-loop water system that re-purposes grey water to irrigate surrounding fields.”
Neulight concluded: “Our goal is to bring the ‘comfort’ back into comfort foods – both nutritional comfort and environmental comfort.”