Fon­terra slips to fourth place

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

Fon­terra has slipped from third to fourth place in the world’s ‘‘who’s who’’ of dairy com­pa­nies in Rabobank’s lat­est sur­vey of global milk heavy­weights.

Top of the heap is Nes­tle of Switzer­land with US$25.9 bil­lion (NZ$32.4b) rev­enue in 2011, fol­lowed by France’s Danone with US$19.5 bil­lion and Lac­talis, also of France, with US$18.8 bil­lion.

Fon­terra, New Zealand’s big­gest com­pany and the world’s big­gest dairy ex­porter, which earns around 25 per cent of the coun­try’s ex­port re­turns, comes in fourth with US$15.7 bil­lion. It has been pushed out of third place by Lac­talis.

Rabobank’s top 20 list re­mains dom­i­nated by OECD coun­tries. The re­spec­tive po­si­tions of Nes­tle and Danone are un­changed from last year, but Rabobank said there are some sig­nif­i­cant changes.

The most no­table shift at the top end is the con­tin­ued rise of Lac­talis. With on­go­ing sales growth and the ac­qui­si­tion of Par­malat and Skane­me­jerier, it has moved into third spot.

But the big­gest strides up the lad­der were made by the Chi­nese giants.

Hav­ing en­tered the top20 for the first time in 2010, Yili moved up four places to 15th and Mengnui eased up two places to 16th.

Big chal­lenges face the world’s largest dairy com­pa­nies in the next five years, as the in­dus­try bat­tles eco­nomic and de­mo­graphic head­winds, al­ready high dairy con­sump­tion, over­weight con­sumers and con­cerns over dairy prod­uct cost, Rabobank said.

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