US dairy co-op Dairy Farmers of America has bought Hispanic cheese business Castro Cheese Co. in its first move into the “ethnic” dairy category.

DFA said Castro Cheese, which the co-op has acquired for an undisclosed sum, owns the “strong national brand” of La Vaquita, which complements its own status as a farmer-owned business.

“La Vaquita is an established national brand with a reputation for quality that complements DFA’s dairy farmer ownership and the farm-based heritage of many of its cheese and butter brands,” said John Stephens, chief operating officer for the consumer brands unit of the co-op’s global dairy products group.

DFA said it would retain Castro Cheese’s 72 staff and added that the business would continue to be led by operating executive Alberto Bandera.

“Our new relationship with DFA is an exciting new chapter in our history,” Bandera said.

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