Bega Cheese is a household name in Australia and an increasingly familiar name overseas.
The company began as a dairy cooperative and is today one of Australia’s major food producers. Still headquartered in Bega 114 years after its formation, it has six production facilities in NSW and Victoria manufacturing natural and processed cheddar cheese, cream cheese, butter, infant formulas and dairy-based nutritional powders.
Listed on the ASX, Bega Cheese merged with Tatura Milk Industries in 2011. The merger enabled the company to invest in new branding and infrastructure to take advantage of opportunities in Asia, the Middle East and Oceania.
Bega Cheese began exporting its cheese products in the early 1990s. It now sells to more than 50 countries, earning $325 million in export sales in 2013–14. Exports comprise 30 per cent of the company’s total revenue.
With Asia delivering almost 70 per cent of its export revenue, in recent years Bega Cheese has shifted its focus to high-value, technically sophisticated dairy products to supply growth markets in the Asian region.
In 2013–14, the company built an infant formula canning factory to supply dairy nutritionals to Asian markets; launched new product lines into Asia and the Middle East; expanded its cheddar cheese and lactoferrin production; and commissioned a new D40 whey plant.
The judges praised Bega Cheese’s enduring focus on quality and its ability to move quickly to accommodate growing global and domestic demand for its products. They said the company had a strong, well thought-out international marketing strategy with a clear vision around markets of choice.
To learn more about Bega Cheese and its success, read the case study.