The co-ops have struck deal

The co-ops have struck deal

The dairy merger between French co-operatives, Eurial and Agrial, which was put on hold this year, has been finalised with the signing of a protocol agreement.

Approval is required from France's competition regulator but, according to a two-phase process, the commercial and industrial dairy activities of the two groups will be brought together in the same entity, known as Eurial, this autumn.

The co-operatives will then formally merge their dairy businesses in June 2016, following consultations with staff representative bodies and subject to the approval of their general assemblies.

The new grouping will generate an annual turnover of EUR2.3bn and be structured around six major business areas: goat’s cheeses; ultra-fresh dairy products; cheese ingredients, notably mozzarella; UHT milk; dry ingredients and butter.

As of 2016, it will be the second-largest French co-operative dairy group, bringing together 6,450 milk producers, supplying 2.7bn litres of milk annually and employing more than 4,000 staff working from 22 industrial sites.