Southland-based global nutrition leader Blue River Dairy was tonight (Wednesday November 14) announced as New Zealand’s Fastest Growing Exporter.
The Invercargill-based infant formula producer has recorded an overall revenue growth rate of 938 per cent during the past two years. During the same period the business’s growth in export revenue reached an impressive 1058 per cent.
Blue River Dairy was awarded the title at the Festival of Growth in Auckland, the culmination of the Deloitte Fast 50 awards – an annual index of businesses with the fastest growing revenue.
The company also picked up Fastest Growing Agribusiness and 4th Fastest Growing Company overall.
Blue River Dairy general manager Robert Boekhout said the award was recognition of an innovative team culture at the Invercargill plant and the vision and unwavering belief of chairman and group CEO Yuanrong Chen.
“We’re ecstatic about this result, which further cements Blue River Dairy’s status as a leading global nutrition business.”
It was exciting times in the export infant formula market as demand for quality products manufactured in New Zealand increased, especially in China, he said.
“We have used this demand and a global shift to alternative protein to significantly grow our business.”
The company’s phenomenal growth has seen it go from exporting 400,000 cans of infant formula in 2016 to being on track to reach 7 million cans this year– with a target of 15 million cans forecast for 2019.
A new canning line capable of meeting the 15 million can forecast is on schedule to be open in mid 2019.
Boekhout said Blue River Dairy was changing the face of New Zealand dairy with its production of cow, goat, and sheep milk nutritional formulas.
“We recognised opportunities in the nutrition market across cow, goat and sheep infant formulas and rapidly geared up our production to meet the needs of our customers who demand the highest quality products.”
The company is the only infant nutrition plant in the world manufacturing infant formula products from three species – sheep, cow and goat.
Blue River Dairy is launching an extensive marketing campaign in New Zealand and China to push its “Changing the face of New Zealand dairy” message.
Boekhout paid tribute to the Blue River Dairy team which has more than doubled from 50 to 110 permanent staff during the past 18 months. At least 20 more staff will be required when the new canning line opens.
“We have an incredible team consistently delivering to the highest level. We are proud of our success so far but we also recognise that we have a long way to go. It’s a competitive market and we will continue to differentiate ourselves by developing new products and categories for our customers.”
Blue River Dairy’s success was great business for local and national companies throughout the supply chain including dairy ingredient processors, storage and freight companies, packaging manufacturers, developers, laboratory, audit and other professional services.
“Our business growth is supporting many local and national companies, and providing our export service suppliers with huge growth in their own businesses,” Boekhout said.
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