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US dairy giant Dean Foods has appointed advisers to look into the possible sale of UK unit Rachel’s Organic.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, Dean has hired NM Rothschild to set out the company’s options for Rachel’s, which could lead to a disposal of the business.

Dean, which has seen fierce competition in the US fluid milk sector hit profits, acquired Rachel’s in 2004 when it bought the company’s owner, US-based Horizon Organic Dairy.

The UK organic sector has suffered as consumers tightened their belts during the downturn. Figures from The Soil Association published in April showed organic sales in the UK fell 13% in 2009.

Dairy products remain the most popular organic category, accounting for 33% of sales.


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By GlobalData