Darryn Wallace, Director of Marketing & Innovation at Lion Dairy & Drinks says it is exciting times as we continue to evolve our portfolio and bring to life our next generation of healthy snacking products.

Great Brands …… Real Food … Great Taste ….Genuine Convenience

“Leading the way, our new Farmers Union Crunch range has been launched. Crunch is made up of five variants with our famous Greek Style yogurt, combined with a range of healthy inclusions and the unique – and very handy – benefit of a spoon inside,” he said.

“You will see this at your local supermarket where we have some outstanding in-store advertising.

“We have also launched three new Farmers Union Pouches. Expanding the offer around exciting citrus flavours such as Real “Strawberry, Mango and Citrus” to provide a product to meet everyone’s needs and build momentum of this important new format.

“In addition to the new product launches, we are continuing to invest behind Farmers Union to celebrate the simplicity and versatility of the product with a great new advertising campaign.”

Darryn said the campaign was designed to build on the “Add a little Culture” story by celebrating how Farmers Union Greek Style yogurt is synonymous with all types of cooking and culinary experiences and equally embraced by all cultures.

“You may have noticed this new campaign on TV – just in time to celebrate World Neighbours Day on Friday 25 May,” he said. “Over coming weeks you will also see TV, social media, and outdoor advertising support the campaign both Farmers Union Greek Style Yogurt and our new Farmers Union Crunch offering.

 

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On Wednesday 23 May Lion Dairy & Drinks (LDD) celebrated its 100th anniversary of manufacturing dairy products at its Malanda site in far north Queensland.

At a celebratory birthday dinner held at the Malanda Hotel Ballroom, more than 180 locals came together to celebrate, including current and past employees, farmers who work directly with LDD and community members.

The Malanda site manufactures almost 60 milk and milk-based products, made with fresh milk sourced directly from more than 48 dairy farms supplying the Dairy Farmers Milk Co-Operative in the Far North Queensland region.

Each year the site produces around 47 million liters of dairy product, with customers spanning from Cape York to Mackay and as far west as Mount Isa.

Deeply engrained in the community, the site currently employs 100 locals and is actively engaged through membership of community groups and supporting of local events, schools and charities. Supporting community initiatives is important to Lion Dairy & Drinks, and it is proud to sponsor the Malanda and Cairns Shows and the local hockey team.

Lion Dairy & Drinks also works with the Dairy Farmers Milk Co-operative to run farmer training programs.

Lion Dairy & Drinks is extremely proud to be involved in delivering more dairy and juice goodness to the Malanda community through our schools program – called Lion Malanda Goodness Promise. This program aims to educate our younger generation with healthy eating options and developing healthy habits and provides students at four local schools our dairy products for morning tea.

Stuart Muir, Lion Dairy & Drinks Supply Chain Director, attended the 100-year celebratory dinner and said: “What an exciting time for our team, farmers and the Malanda community as we come together to celebrate this milestone. Lion Dairy & Drinks is proud to be deeply engrained in the heritage of the site and the community.

“The community spirit of Malanda is unparalleled and this occasion allows us to look back with pride on the past and celebrate the future of the site, together with our farmers, employees and community members. Lion Dairy & Drinks looks forward to continuing its strong relationship with the people of Malanda and far north Queensland, and playing an integral role in ensuring long term sustainability of the local dairy industry.”

Milk production in the area dates back to 1904 when the first private milk factory was built in Atherton. In 1919, the Atherton Tablelands Co-Operative Butter & Bacon Company constructed a factory at the current Malanda site and by 1923 all manufacturing was transferred to Malanda.

Since 1996, LDD has invested more than $25 million in capital works and upgrading facilities and equipment at the The company’s core purpose is to enrich the world everyday by championing sociability and helping people to live well, fundamentals which will continue to underlie the operations at Malanda into the future.

In 2014, Lion Dairy & Drinks was delighted to put the name “Malanda” back on pack, as Dairy Farmers’ milk became Malanda Original Milk – reverting to the traditional name and more importantly helping to boost community support and pride in this local product.

 

 

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Image: The Crouch Family

Together with his parents and wife Raelene, Darryn Crouch owns and operates a dairy in south-eastern Queensland.

Grazing on the foothills of the D’Aguilar Ranges their cows are primarily pasture fed. This reliance on good pasture means the family is especially concerned with land management that maximises productivity with little impact on the environment.

Raelene and Darryn are the third generation on the farm and have over the years improved the land and creek that runs through it. Today sections of the farm have been returned to native rainforest and the creek has been fenced to create native habitat corridors.

In 2016 they expanded their operation buying the neighbour’s property. Unlike the original farm the new property was bare and badly in need of repair.

After getting advice from Healthy Waterways and Catchments and their local Landcare group, the Crouch family found ways to return sections of the new property to its native rainforest and to clean up and protect the creek that flowed through both properties.

“As we’d already undertaken extensive revegetation along the creek banks, we wanted to bring the new property in line so we could establish wildlife corridors and encourage native birds and animals back.” Darryn said.

Using Lion Dairy Pride Landcare grant to repair the land

One night, Raelene was reading the Lion e-newsletter when she came across information on the Lion Dairy Pride Landcare grants. Seeing this as an opportunity to secure the funding needed to start work they applied for a grant that covered native plants, fencing and new water troughs.

Fencing off the creek was an important part of improving the creek’s water quality as it stopped the cattle walking the banks and churning up the water.

“By stabilising the banks and planting vegetation along them we cut down sediment and nutrient flow into the water. The creek flows into Moreton Bay where sediment and other pollution are a real problem.” Darryn said.

With the creek and dam fenced the next step was to plant out the native plants they’d chosen with advice from the Barung Landcare group. To give the new plants the best chance of survival, timing of planting was critical to avoid frosts or floods.

“We chose a time when temperatures were warm and there was sufficient soil moisture. This avoided the frosts but increased the risk of plant loss from floods and heat waves.” Darryn said.

One year on

Within a year of receiving the grant money the Crouch family have protected five hectares of habitat, through weeding, planting out 500 trees across three hectares, fencing off the creek and dam and installing water troughs.,

The rehabilitation works completed by the Crouch family have met their goals of improved management of the creek with only a 10 percent loss plants.

The vegetation planted along the creek banks has slowed the flow of the water and acted as a filter by absorbing nutrients that would otherwise runoff from the paddocks.

“Over time we expect more native birds and animals to move into the revegetated areas and for clear water to flow through the two properties.” Darryn said.

On top of the land and water quality benefits, the fenced off creek has made the cattle less susceptible to foot rot and other soil borne pathogens found in the muddy banks. The cattle also have greater access to cleaner water as they drink from the newly installed water troughs rather than the creek.

Darryn adds the Riparian Vegetation Appraisal Tool rated the health of the new block with very good environmental function – a vast improvement on its previous rating of poor.

Read more about Lion Dairy Pride Landcare on Dairy Pride

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Lion Dairy & Drinks’ Morwell dairy manufacturing site celebrates two decades of production, with this milestone also marking 20 years of active involvement with the local community.

The Morwell site was officially opened on 31 March 1998 and has grown to produce 75,000 tonnes of product each year, manufacturing over 90 milk based products including some of Australia’s most loved yoghurt and dairy dessert brands. The site had an official opening by the then Victorian Premier, Jeff Kennett.

Today, the Morwell site manufactures stirred yoghurt, set yoghurt and dairy desserts from around 65 million litres of milk sourced from Victorian farms. The yoghurt is sold throughout Australia and also exported to South East Asia.

The products made at the site are for some of Australia’s most loved brands:

  • Yoghurt – Yoplait, Farmers Union, Dairy Farmers, Fruche and Petit Miam
  • Dairy desserts – Yogo and Divine Classic
  • Sour Cream – Dairy Farmers

In addition to growing the production line, the Morwell site has become an integral part of the local community, employing 160 people as well as supporting community initiatives that are important to locals.

The Morwell Schools Breakfast Program is one such initiative, set up to provide students with nutritious breakfasts, in a safe and nurturing environment at the start of each school day.

The Lion Dairy & Drinks Morwell site has been supporting this program since 2013 by donating Yoplait, Yoplait Petit Miam and Pura Milk product for local students. Additionally, employees of the site volunteer each week at the breakfasts for the duration of the school term to offer hands on assistance.

“We are extremely proud to be celebrating 20 years manufacturing at our site in Morwell and it’s great to know that 28 team members have been with us since that first production run in 1998,” said Tim Fleay, Lion Dairy & Drinks Yoghurt Supply Chain Director.

“Our site is really proud of what we have achieved during this time and in particular it’s fantastic for us to be involved with the Morwell Schools Breakfast Program, and a privilege to give back to the community we’ve called home for 20 years.

“Through our involvement with the program the number of breakfasts served has grown from around 140 per week to 270, and our employees love getting out there and lending a hand to this great initiative.”

The manufacturing site has also offered support to the local TAFE and Federation University, donating machinery no longer required by the site for educational purposes.

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Australia’s diverse climate means that – regardless of the season – drought risk cannot be ignored. As we enter a new season it may be timely to consider revisiting your drought preparation plan, and ensure that you have given thought to the key challenges faced during periods of drought:

  • Use of available water
  • Forages to grow
  • Feed purchases
  • Number and class of animals to be fed or culled
  • Level of feeding
  • Herd replacement and reinstatement.

VIC Drought Support
The Victorian Government is providing $27 million to support drought affected communities in Victoria.

The support measures complement the support already available to farmers, small businesses, families and communities impacted by drought. You can read more here.

The Bureau of Meteorology reports that it has been a very dry start to the year across much of mainland southeastern Australia.

Areas of rainfall deficiency are present at this 3-month period across large areas of northwestern Victoria into southeastern South Australia and some central and western parts of New South Wales, with some areas having less than 25 mm of rainfall over the last three months. Whilst these deficiencies are at a climatologically drier time of the year for this region, the Bureau of Meteorology will monitor the situation closely for any further deficiencies as the southern cropping season begins.

You can read more here.

The Lion Dairy Pride Farmer Personal Support Program (PSP)
Beyond impacting your business, periods of drought can cause tremendous strain on your mental health and stress levels.

Lion is committed to helping all our suppliers navigate through these difficult times, and have established the PSP initiative to assist our dairy farmer suppliers through the challenges and demands of work and personal life. This professional counselling service offers confidential short-term support for a variety of work related and personal problems.

Issues PSP can help with include:

  • Interpersonal conflict and tension
  • Work-related stress
  • Changes in your work environment
  • Harassment and grievances
  • Relationship or family matters
  • Personal and emotional stress
  • Grief and bereavement
  • Career issues
  • Mental health concerns
  • Personal crisis or trauma

Phone or in-person counselling sessions can be made by calling 1300 687 327 during office hours (8 am – 6 pm Monday to Friday). You can access counselling assistance 24 hours a day, and all discussions are completely confidential.

Other resources that may be valuable during tough times include:

https://www.beyondblue.org.au

https://www.lifeline.org.au

To learn more about how Lion can support you through drought, and what government support is available to you, please talk to your Farm Services team member.

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We are now three years into our Goodness Promise work and we’re proud to say that we are achieving well against our goals thanks to the collaborative efforts of all our people.

As you may be aware Our Goodness Promise aims to celebrate the inherent goodness of our products, as well as bringing better nutritional balance to the Lion Dairy & Drinks portfolio – helping people to enjoy more natural goodness every day, across Australia and New Zealand.

Lion’s beliefs and commitments to the way we develop, communicate and range our dairy, juice and adjacent non-alcohol drinks take an honest look at where our products are at, and set some exciting goals for the future.

As part of Our Goodness Promise, we have made various commitments to improve the nutrition integrity of our portfolio. These commitments include:

  • Reducing added sugar, fat and sodium
  • Innovating for better balance across our portfolio
  • Making smaller pack sizes available across all categories
  • Maintaining the nutrition integrity of our dairy and juice portfolios
  • Looking after our children’s products
  • Caffeine should be appropriate for the audience
  • Making nutrition and product information easier to understand.

 

Please click to enlarge image

 

We are three years into Our Goodness Promise and we’re proud to say we’re achieving well against our goals. We’re pleased to share six key achievements for 2017 thanks to the collaborative efforts of all our people:

1. More natural goodness
76% of our Lion Dairy & Drinks sales volume1 is in our “best” and “good”2 categories (up from 74% in 2016)

2. Product innovation
74% of our innovation projects are in our “best” and “good” categories, on track for 80% by 2019. Exciting new products or innovations include:
Lion Speciality Cheese Little Entertainers
The Culture Co Kefir
Farmers Union Greek Style Yoghurt pouches

3. Reducing adding sugar
Reformulations should result in an 897 tonne reduction in added sugar over the next year1 – 62% of our target (1440 tonnes, 10% of our 2014 volume)

4. Communicating our goodness
In 2017 we launched Milk Loves You Back (MLYB) to educate Australians about the 8 essential nutrients found naturally in milks like Dairy Farmers, Pura and Masters3. The MLYB logo and extended nutrition information panel now appears on 42 products

5. Doing the right thing
We’re voluntarily giving consumers more nutrition information about our products: Our products include this information on the labels:
Caffeine content: now on 77% of coffee products
Added sugar: now on 61 products
Calories: 145 products
Calcium content (cheese): 95 products

6. Star labelling
60% of our applicable retail portfolio displays the Health Star Rating


1
Based on Lion Dairy & Drinks sales volumes (Dec 2016 – Dec 2017)
2 Best, Good and Treat categories are based on independently assessed nutrient criteria. Check out sustainability.lionco.com/a-promise-of-goodness/ for more info
3 Find out more at www.milklovesyouback.com.au

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In Queensland’s Tablelands region third generation farmers, the Hamilton family, manage a mixed beef, dairy and bamboo operation. For over 100 years successive Hamilton generations have supplied milk to the domestic and international markets.

In continuing the family tradition, the family is committed to producing quality milk. To ensure milk quality and to avoid contamination, the dairy shed machinery is washed down after each milking. This simple task of washing down equipment is, however, made difficult due to the unreliable electrical network it relies on to heat the water.

Far North Queensland relies on an electricity network that has infrastructure that dates back to the 1940s. Combine this with a large geography and limited people resources to repair breaks, and the result is a black-out whenever a storm or strong winds hit anywhere in the network.

Tired of this unreliability and also wanting to reduce electricity costs, the Hamilton family researched hot water systems that could be taken off the grid while supplying a reliable source of hot water.

As a family, the Hamiltons had a history of researching and implementing sustainability improvements. So, after being told about the Lion Landcare Grants from their Lion representative, Veronica Hamilton said the family applied for funding to upgrade their hot water system.

“In our region, approximately 70 percent of farmers install a system that can back up their power supply to keep milk refrigerated and operate the shed machinery.” Veronica said.

The back-up system to be installed was the same that was heating their water in their house in town – an evacuated solar hot water system with a gas booster.

The system heats the water with solar power when the sun shines and for the times that doesn’t happen it is backed up with a gas booster. Fortunately, the tropical north Queensland sunshine is frequent and intense enough that the solar system provides a reliable supply of hot water.

Veronica said the new system keeps the hot water flowing to wash and sanitise their dairy machinery.

While it is still early days, Veronica said they expect the hot water system will reduce electricity costs and in turn help them continue to do what they love – producing sustainable milk.

“We can cope with the hours required to milk the cows when we are paid enough, and can cover the costs to produce.” Veronica said.

The Lion Landcare Grant allowed the Hamiltons to make the infrastructure upgrades needed to make the farm more sustainable and was a welcome industry investment.

Looking to the future, Veronica says they plan to invest in infrastructure that will make them less reliant on the electricity grid when operating milk production and workshop facilities. They also plan to put in carbon stores, improve creek banks and crossings as well as create exclusion zones around waterways to protect the farm’s natural resources.

“What’s good for our land is good for our business and for our community. I want to leave the land in a better state than when we took it over, so our kids have the choice to continue farming in the future.” Veronica adds.

The Lion Dairy Pride Landcare Grants Program is producing exceptional, positive financial and environmental results for the farms selected to receive support. You can read more here.

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Lion Dairy & Drinks is shining a light on dairy – with the milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives category being the second most under consumed food group in Australians’ diet this National Nutrition Week.

The 2017 National Nutrition Week (15-21 October 2017) brings nutrition front of mind for many, Lion Dairy & Drinks (LDD) is revealing the concerning realities about the second most under consumed food group in the Aussie diet; milk, yoghurt, cheese (dairy) and alternatives. National Nutrition Week is timely reminder not just for the nine out of 10 Australians who are not getting their recommended daily intake of dairy or alternativesi but also for parents, as statistics show Aussie children’s dairy consumption declines as they age, whilst at the same time their nutrient needs and recommended serves of dairy or alternatives, increasesi.

Complementary to National Nutrition Week, LDD launched Milk Loves You Back this year, to remind Australians of the natural goodness contained in milks like Dairy Farmers, Pura and Masters that boast a broad range of health benefits from 8 natural nutrients.

Growing Bodies and Bones

Alarmingly, dairy consumption dramatically declines during pre-teen and teenage years, with only 1 in 50 (2%) Australian teenagers aged 12-18 year consuming their recommended serves of dairy or alternativesi. While children aged 2-3 are the biggest consumers of dairy or alternatives i, there’s a worrying decline in consumption as they growi. This decline occurs at a critical time when childrens’ nutrient needs and recommended serves of dairy or alternative increasesi. This is to support their body and bone growth, particularly at the ages of 12-14 for girls and 13-15 for boys, when a quarter of adult bone mass is built.

According to LDD’s own research, reassuringly, 4 in 5 (78%) Aussie children (aged 5-17) believe that nutrients in dairy milk gives us strong teeth and bones, and almost half believe milk helps our bodies as we grow (47%). That said, calcium, along with iron, are the most commonly under-consumed nutrients in the Australian diet. Notably, 95% of children aged 2-3 met their recommended nutrient intake, except iron, similarly 95% of those aged 4-8 met their recommended except for iron and calciumi. In contrast, 71% of boys and more than 90% of girls aged 14-18 years did not achieve adequate calcium intakes, in part due to higher nutrient needs and lower dairy consumption in older childrenvii.

Milk is, in fact, one of the richest sources of calcium in the dietvii. Milk and dairy foods like Dairy Farmers, Pura and Masters boast a broad range of health benefits. It also has 8 natural nutrients including not just calcium, but protein and phosphorus – which are critical for growing bones, as part of a balanced diet- as well as potassium, iodine and vitamins B2, B5 and B12.

Getting the Balance Right

Contrary to the 3 in 10 (31%) parents incorrectly assuming boys and girls have the same recommended dairy intake, recommended dairy or alternative serves vary – children aged 2-3 and girls 4-8 years should consume 1½ serves of dairy per day as part of a balanced diet, however for boys aged 4-8 it increases to 2 serves per day and recommended serves of dairy per day continues to increase with age up to 3½ serves per day for teens 12-18 years.

A serve of dairy comes in many different forms. It can be as easy as a glass of milk in the morning (250ml), a small tub of yogurt (200g) or 2 slices (40g) of cheese in a sandwich. Or for a more sophisticated option, pairing your dairy with your fruit and vegetables – Australian analysis suggests that school lunches provide about 40% of children’s daily food/ energy intakes. 

Here are some simple ways to get dairy in to your kids lunchbox:

Yoghurt: Try a yogurt pouch, (70g may suit little kids or >100g for bigger kids) or a small tub, it’s perfect at recess (handy hint: you can freeze the yoghurt pouch/tub to stay cool).

Milk: Leftover pasta with cheese sauce (made with milk and cheese) can be a great alternative to a sandwich, paired with cauliflower or broccoli.  For the kids, a small UHT regular or flavoured milk is a great snack for the active ones, providing all the goodness of milk in an easy product you can keep in the pantry and pop in the lunchbox.

Cheese: Try adding 1 or 2 slices of cheese in the sandwich, or grated cheese in a wrap or sprinkled on top of a pasta or a salad.

Hawthorn legend and father of four, Shane Crawford adds: “I am all about getting the balance right and this has never been more important than when a dad. We work hard to make sure our boys get the right nutrients to keep them fired up throughout the day. I often stop for a milkshake after a runabout with the boys, or whip together our favorite smoothie, to help not only their little bodies refuel, but mine too!”

For more information on the 8 essential nutrients in milks like Dairy Farmers, Masters and Pura, recommended daily serves and more, visit www.milklovesyouback.com.au.

Consumer Research Methodology:

The research was commissioned by Alt/Shift on behalf of Lion Dairy & Drinks and conducted by Lonergan Research in accordance with the ISO 20252 standard. Lonergan Research surveyed 1,037 Australians aged 18+ and 530 children aged 5-17 years old. Surveys were distributed throughout Australia including both capital city and non-capital city areas. The survey was conducted online amongst members of a permission-based panel, between 30 March and 4 April 2017. After interviewing, data was weighted to the latest population estimates sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

1. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016. Australian Health Survey: Consumption of Food Groups from the Australian Dietary Guidelines, 2011-12 Cat no, 4364.0.55.012 –  (Only 10% of Australians consumed their recommended serves of dairy or alternatives compared to 4% for vegetables and legumes/beans, 31% for fruit, 30% for grain (cereals) and 14% for lean meats and alternatives.)

2. Thomas B, Bishop J. Manual of Dietetic Practice (4th ed). Blackwell Publishing: Carlton; 2007.

3. Lonergan Research 2017, commissioned by Alt/Shift on behalf of Lion Dairy & Drinks. Online Survey of 1037 Australian adults (nationally representative) and 530 children

4. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2015, Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intakes, 2011-12  cat. no. 4364.0.55.008 (http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4364.0.55.008~2011-12~Main%20Features~Calcium~401)

5. Lonergan Research 2017, commissioned by Alt/Shift on behalf of Lion Dairy & Drinks. Online Survey of 1037 Australian adults (nationally representative) and 530 children

6. Recommended number of serves for children, adolescents and toddlers https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/food-essentials/how-much-do-we-need-each-day/recommended-number-serves-children-adolescents-and

7. Bell, A.C.; Swinburn, B.A. What are the key food groups to target for preventing obesity and improving nutrition in schools? Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 2004, 58, 258–263. [CrossRef] [PubMed]

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Since April last year, dairy farmers who supply Lion in South Australia and South East Queensland have had the opportunity to access brewers’ grain for stockfeed at competitive rates. The grain is sourced from local Lion breweries at XXXX (Brisbane) and West End (Adelaide).

The offer has proved extremely popular with our farmers, who credit Lion’s initiative with helping to drive more competitive pricing of brewers’ grain in the market, enhancing their access to the feed and in some cases improving milk supply, quality and overall farm productivity.

Lion is therefore delighted to be extending the by-products program to all farmers to who supply Lion in NSW, Victoria and WA, utilising spent grain from our breweries in Sydney (Tooheys), Geelong and Fremantle (Little Creatures) respectively. In addition, NSW farmers will also be eligible to apply for citrus pulp, sourced from Lion’s juice operations in Leeton (NSW).

Access to brewers’ grain and other by-products is a benefit Lion is uniquely positioned to offer dairy farmers, given our major brewery and juice operations. Longer term, Lion will explore the feasibility of offering farmers access to other stockfeeds, for example soy hulls and okara, which are by-products of Lion’s Vitasoy joint venture. We will also consider extending the grain offer to Tasmanian farmers.

Grain and citrus volumes are limited, so eligible farmers in NSW, Victoria and WA are encouraged to contact their Lion Farm Services Manager, or DFMC representative if applicable, for more information as soon as possible.

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Lion Pty Ltd (Lion) has today formally accepted an offer by Saputo Dairy Australia Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Saputo Inc to acquire all of the ordinary shares Lion holds in Warrnambool Cheese and Butter (WCB), at an improved price of $9.05 per share.

While Lion will make a small profit as a result of the sale, its stake was a strategic one intended to protect the business’ broader interests, including longstanding contract arrangements with WCB.

Since the purchase of the WCB stake in 2013, Lion’s Dairy & Drinks business has made significant progress in its turnaround program, including the sale of everyday cheese assets to WCB in 2015 as part of its tightening focus on core dairy and juice categories. Today’s sale to Saputo is therefore a logical step and a positive outcome for Lion.

Existing contracts are unaffected by the sale, including Lion’s supply of parmesan cheese to WCB. Lion looks forward to continuing mutually beneficial commercial arrangements with WCB going forward.

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