Wednesday, 20 November 2019 07:55

US milk giant goes bung

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
America’s biggest milk producer Dean Foods, has filed for bankruptcy. America’s biggest milk producer Dean Foods, has filed for bankruptcy.

America's biggest milk producer, Dean Foods, has filed for bankruptcy and is planning to sell assets.

The Dallas listed processor is blaming declining milk sales triggered by increased competition from dairy alternatives such as oat and almond milk.

The company says it plans to use Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code which allows a debtor to reorganise assets -- keeping the business alive and paying creditors over time.

The company will continue to process milk and supply dairy products to retailers. Customers are expected to receive their dairy products without any interruptions. 

Dean Foods is the largest processor and direct-to-store distributor of fresh fluid milk and other dairy and dairy case products in the US. It has 50 national, regional and local dairy brands as well as private labels. It makes ice cream, cultured products, juices, teas and bottled water. It has 15,000 employees.

New chief executive Eric Beringause says the Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection will allow the company to “continue serving our customers and operating as normal as we work toward the sale of our business”.

He claimed the company had a strong operational footprint and distribution network, a robust range of leading national brands and extensive private label capabilities. 

“Despite our best efforts to make our business more agile and cost-efficient, we continue to be impacted by a challenging operating environment marked by continuing declines in consumer milk consumption. 

“Importantly, we are continuing to provide customers with an uninterrupted supply of high-quality dairy products, as well as supporting our dairy suppliers and other partners.” 

Beringause, who joined Dean Foods three months ago, says he took a hard look at its challenges. He said that in recent months the company put in place a new senior management team with a track record of turning around businesses.

More like this

Meat demand soars

There is massive demand for New Zealand beef and lamb in the United States as that country struggles to cope with COVID-19.

US market a ‘nightmare’

The US meat market is becoming something of a nightmare for NZ meat exporters with situations changing – in some cases – on a daily basis.

Featured

Water reforms come at a cost

The government’s new freshwater laws, signed off this week, have the potential to create significant unnecessary costs for ratepayers, farmers and entire communities, Federated Farmers says.

2020 harvest yields up

Final harvest data for wheat, barley and oats (milling/malting and feed) in 2020 show yields were up 17% overall across the six crops.

 

Difficult but the right call

DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says the joint decision three years ago to eradicate Mycoplamsa bovis was a difficult call.

Milking cluster milks runner-up award

DeLaval has come away with the runner up prize in this year’s Fieldays Online innovation competition with a new milking cluster that eliminates the need for conventional liner changes.

Glow worms to cows

Thomas Lundman's work focus has gone from tracking tiny critters in pitch black caves to looking after considerably larger animals in paddocks near Whakatane.

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Spell check

Your old mutt was not surprised to see the NZ Dairy Industry Awards hastily remove the title of this year’s…

About time!

Your canine crusader has been a long-time critic of NZ governments – of all stripes – who, for the past…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter