Lactalis has acquired Normandy cheesemaker Fromagerie E. Graindorge for an undisclosed sum.

The Calavados-based family firm produces livarot, pont-l’évêque, camembert and neufchâtel brand cheeses under protected designations of origin and largely from raw milk.

Graindorge employs 250 staff and processes 45m litres of milk annually supplied by 116 local dairy farmers. It operates three production sites and has an annual turnover of around EUR50m. 

Confirming the acquisition, a spokesman for Lactalis told just-food: “Lactalis already produces the cheeses in which Graindorge specialises so purchasing the company strengthens our in position in this part of the market.”

He added: “The deal reflects how important we view the development of PDO cheeses.”

In a statement addressed to the company’s milk producers, seen by just-food, the president of Graindorge, Thierry Graindorge, whose grandfather founded the company in 1910, said the decision to sell had been down to problems of succession and his approaching retirement.

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“I have chosen Lactalis in order to ensure the autonomy of the group, maintain its identity and safeguard all of the current workforce. There’s a clause in the sale agreement which stipulates that there will be no redundancies.”