Goodman Fielder, the Australia-based food group, has announced plans to sell its wholesale commercial oils unit in a bid to focus more on its branded bread and packaged grocery divisions.

In making the announcement today (6 May), managing director Peter Margin said that as a commercial industrial business, it doesn’t fit “comfortably” with the group’s “major strategic focus”, unlike the rest of its portfolio which is predominantly retail focused.

Margin said that the funds employed in the business would be “better directed elsewhere”.

“As a consequence of our decision to focus on our consumer brand portfolio, we will be exploring options for the divestment of our commercial edible fats and oils business,” Margin added.

The company said it will now focus on strengthening its current portfolio of core brands through “enhanced product innovation, robust brand support and targeted acquisitions”.

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It will also consolidate its portfolio based on sustainable market positions and look to divest non-core brands.

“We believe that strong brands provide an effective insulation against commodity
cost volatility and that innovation and marketing support are the keys to maintaining
and enhancing the strength of our brands,” Margin said.

Goodman Fielder said it will “gauge the degree of interest” from potential acquirers of the business and look to divest it, subject to acceptable terms, pricing and conditions being offered.

Margin added: “The company will continue to focus on the goal of achieving competitive advantage by being the lowest cost manufacturer, developing the most efficient daily fresh distribution network and further enhancing our information platform, including developing our e-commerce capabilities with our major trading partners.”

In addition, Goodman Fielder also announced today that it has been awarded an extension of its private label bread supply contract with Coles for a further 12 months.

The contract is for the supply of white and grain loaf bread to Coles supermarkets nationally. No financial details of the contract were disclosed.