Otago Daily Times

Lewis Road Cream­ery bought by fund

- Business · Oceania News · Greater Auckland · New Zealand · Whole Foods Market · United States of America · Woolworths · Australia · Waikato · Canterbury · Lewis Road Creamery · Westland Milk Products

AUCK­LAND: New Zealand’s largest farm­land fund, South­ern Pas­tures, is to take full own­er­ship of pre­mium milk and but­ter brand Lewis Road Cream­ery af­ter agree­ing to buy the re­main­ing 50% stake it did not own.

Lewis Road Cream­ery was started by Peter Cul­li­nane in his kitchen in 2012, and its dairy prod­ucts are now stocked in su­per­mar­kets across New Zealand, as well as in Whole Foods and other stores in the United States and Wool­worths in Aus­tralia.

South­ern Pas­tures, which owns and op­er­ates 20 farms in Waikato and Can­ter­bury, bought an ini­tial stake in 2017 and has built up the share­hold­ing over the past three years. It will now ac­quire the re­main­ing share of the busi­ness for an undis­closed sum.

Mr Cul­li­nane said it had been an in­cred­i­ble jour­ney that started in his home.

‘‘To now see the brand ma­ture safely in the hands of in­vestors who are farm­ers of such in­tegrity and qual­ity is a fan­tas­tic con­clu­sion.’’

He would step down from his roles at the com­pany as part of the deal, while gen­eral man­ager Ni­cola O’Rourke would con­tinue to man­age the day­to­day run­ning of the busi­ness.

South­ern Pas­tures ex­ec­u­tive chair­man and Lewis Road board mem­ber Prem Maan said Mr Cul­li­nane had cre­ated an amaz­ing brand.

‘‘We’re proud to take on the re­spon­si­bil­ity of build­ing on it to pro­duce the best pre­mium dairy prod­ucts New Zealand has to of­fer.’’

South­ern Pas­tures’ farms pro­duce milk un­der an in­de­pen­dently cer­ti­fied 10­Star Cer­ti­fied Val­ues pro­gramme, which stip­u­lates grass­fed, free­range, cli­mate­change mit­i­ga­tion, hu­man wel­fare, an­i­mal wel­fare, GMO­free, palm prod­ucts free, growth hor­mones free, an­tibi­otic ste­ward­ship and en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity re­quire­ments.

Pre­mium milk pro­duced un­der the pro­gramme is used in Lewis Road Cream­ery’s grass­fed but­ter.

Mr Maan said South­ern Pas­tures ear­lier this year also took full own­er­ship of New Zealand Grass Fed Milk Prod­ucts LP — which was pre­vi­ously a joint ven­ture with West­land Milk Prod­ucts.

‘‘We’re con­vinced that farm­ing can be a pow­er­ful tool for en­vi­ron­men­tal good in ad­di­tion to pro­vid­ing eco­nomic re­turns,’’ he said.

‘‘We have a long­term vi­sion to pro­duce car­bon­neu­tral dairy in New Zealand and we see Lewis Road Cream­ery as part of that grass­to­glass jour­ney.’’

The board of South­ern Pas­tures, led by Mr Maan and in­clud­ing for­mer All Black cap­tain Gra­ham Mourie, Phillip Wight and Taari Ni­cholas will be­come the board of Lewis Road.

It will also ap­point an ad­vi­sory board to be led by cur­rent Lewis Road board di­rec­tor Ali­son Bar­rass, which will in­clude Cal­i­for­nia­based New Zealand Grass Fed Milk prod­ucts di­rec­tor, Deb­o­rah Rolf. — The New Zealand Her­ald

 ?? PHOTO: SUP­PLIED ?? Sold . . . Lewis Road Cream­ery founder Peter Cul­li­nane (left) has sold the re­main­der of the busi­ness to South­ern Pas­tures, which is led by Prem Maan.
PHOTO: SUP­PLIED Sold . . . Lewis Road Cream­ery founder Peter Cul­li­nane (left) has sold the re­main­der of the busi­ness to South­ern Pas­tures, which is led by Prem Maan.

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