ConAgra Foods’ Lamb Weston arm and its European partner Netherlands-based Meijer Frozen Foods have established a joint venture with Belaya Dacha to serve the Russian market.
The collaboration will combine Lamb Weston and Meijer’s experience in potato growing and French fry production while leveraging Belaya Dacha’s experience in the Russian quick service market.
“Lamb Weston leverages its well-established dual sourcing model to supply customers in North America and Europe,” said Greg Schlafer, president, Lamb Weston. “This new partnership between Lamb Weston / Meijer and Belaya Dacha will allow our partners at Lamb Weston / Meijer to serve our customers expanding in the growing Russian market.”
When the joint venture is formed, it will invest in a new French fry manufacturing facility in Lipetsk, south of Moscow. Construction is planned to begin mid-2016, with production starting in early 2018.
The deal remains subject to Federal Anti-monopoly Service approval. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Lamb Weston, which was spun off into a separate operating unit from ConAgra shortly after the sale of its private brands business last year, has been investing in expanding French fry production. Earlier this month, the group detailed plans to invest US$200m to establish a new French fry processing line at its Lamb Weston facility in Richland in Washington state. The group currently operates 22 manufacturing facilities located in North America, Europe and China.