TIANJIN, CHINA — Two global agricultural cooperatives, U.S.-based Land O’Lakes, Inc. and The Netherlands-based Royal Agrifirm Group, on June 26 announced that they will be setting up a dairy animal feed joint venture in China. The new company, Agrilakes, will leverage existing market knowledge, insights, technologies and research capability from both Land O’Lakes and Agrifirm to provide service to China-based feed customers and dairy farmers.
“With this new investment in China alongside Agrifirm, we are continuing Land O’Lakes’ successful international commercial growth strategy focused on partnering with locally successful companies and working together to drive market expansion,” said Jerry Kaminski, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Land O’Lakes. “Thanks to Agrifirm’s established infrastructure and reputation in China, paired with Land O’Lakes’ strong research and technology expertise, we are confident this new joint venture is well-positioned to help grow both companies.”
Dick Hordijk, chief executive officer of Agrifirm, added, “With more than 20 years of market experience in China, this joint venture with Land O’Lakes positions Agrifirm to further implement its growth strategy and continue developing a reliable, responsible food chain for future generations in China. Agrifirm is proud to bring more than 100 years of experience in the feed and dairy business, and deep experience in China, to this new joint venture. We look forward to leveraging the knowledge, experience and products of both Agrifirm and Land O’Lakes to strengthen our China market presence and help its dairy farmers on the road to success.”
The new joint venture initially will be based in Agrifirm’s existing manufacturing plant in Tianjin, with plans to build a new dairy premix and specialty plant on the adjacent property. As dairy farms in the region continue to grow with increased sophistication and production efficiency, evolving dairy feed practices are driving demand for enhanced animal nutrition and productivity, the companies said.
Both partner companies bring experience operating in China to the joint venture. Land O’Lakes currently leverages capabilities and proprietary products of its subsidiary businesses Purina Animal Nutrition and WinField United crop protection to help improve dairy productivity in China. It also operates a training facility in China, the Dairy Farming Institute, in partnership with Nestle. The facility features two training farms, trial fields and a training center to help local forage growers and commercial dairy farmers develop their skills. Nuscience, a wholly owned subsidiary of Agrifirm and its key global animal nutrition entity, has been in China under the brand LVSAI for 20 years and is currently operating two young animal nutrition and premix plants, and a business unit that sells feed ingredients and multi-species feed additives.
The formation and funding of Agrilakes has been approved by the boards of directors of both cooperatives and is pending appropriate antitrust and regulatory approvals.