French dairy giant Bongrain and local co-op Terra Lacta have signed a memorandum of understanding “specifying the contours” of the partnership announced earlier this year.

The MoU makes provision for the creation of a joint venture, Fromageries Lescure, “which will unite the partners’ activities of [the] manufacture and distribution of goat’s milk cheeses, as well as Terra Lacta’s production of cow’s milk cheese specialities,” Bongrain said.

Bongrain will hold a 51% stake in the JV and Terra Lacta 49%.

The MoU will also see the merger of Terra Lacta’s butter, cream, cow’s milk cheese and milk ingredients production and distribution with those of Bongrain subsidiary, Compagnie Laitière Européenne (CLE). Terra Lacta will become a shareholder in CLE.

The MoU also provides for the signature of long-term contracts with Terra Lacta’s producers for the supply of cow’s and goat’s milk.

The proposals in the MoU will be submitted for regulatory approval shortly.