Southland-based global nutrition leader Blue River Dairy on Wednesday, November 13 were announced as fastest-growing manufacturing business and fastest-growing exporter at the Deloitte Fast 50 Awards in Auckland.
The Invercargill infant formula manufacturer and exporter has recorded an overall revenue growth rate of 968 per cent in the past three years – and is poised to launch several new sheep, goat and cow milk products in the near future. During the same period their growth in export revenue reached an impressive 1078 per cent.
Production has increased rapidly, from 400,000 cans of infant nutritional formula in the 2016 year, to as many as 1.2 million cans in a month during 2019.
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 was also announced as the 5th fastest growing business overall.
Blue River Dairy general manager Robert Boekhout said they were absolutely delighted with the results after another fantastic year.
“We have really great products and the phenomenal customer support we receive validates our innovative approach to producing quality nutritional products using alternative sources of dairy protein.”
Boekhout said Blue River Dairy was changing the face of New Zealand dairy with its range of cow, goat, and sheep milk nutritional formulas.
It was the third year in a row they had succeeded at the awards, which was recognition of their consistency of performance in a dynamic market environment, he said.
In 2018, they were named New Zealand’s Fastest Growing Exporter, Fastest Growing Agribusiness and 4th Fastest Growing Business overall.
Boekhout said they were not resting on their laurels – with new sheep, goat and cow milk formula product launches planned in the near future, utilising the added capacity at their newly completed South Island Dairy plant in Invercargill.
Demand for nutritional formulas was rising rapidly worldwide and they would continue to be at the forefront of innovation, he said.
Blue River Dairy is supporting AgResearch scientists, who have been working alongside those at the Auckland University’s Liggins Institute, on a clinical trial to test the benefits of sheep milk for human digestion.
Some people suffer from digestive issues with milk, and work to date by AgResearch has demonstrated sheep milk could offer advantages for some in terms of easier digestion and
The research would further assist them in their mission to provide quality nutritional products to meet the world’s increasing demand for supplementary proteins, he said.
“We listen to our customers who help us to identify consumer trends around alternative sources of dairy protein,” he said.
Boekhout paid tribute to the Blue River Dairy team which has grown to about 140 permanent staff.
The company’s strong workforce ethic was recognised through winning the Healthy Families Invercargill Workplace Wellbeing Award at the Westpac Southland Business Excellence Awards on September 29.