Is Anchor set to cut NZ ties and move to UK?

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comments (2)
  • Save

Speculation is mounting that Arla is planning to move production of Anchor butter from New Zealand to the UK.

Butter imports into the European Union - the vast majority of which come from New Zealand - slumped 47% to 29,000 tonnes ­between January and November last year on 2009 levels.

With further decline expected in 2011, it would make sense for Anchor to switch production from New Zealand to the UK and reposition it as a UK butter, said experts.

The move, which would further heat up competition between Anchor and the likes of Dairy Crest’s Country Life, would also fit in with Arla’s investment in a state-of-the-art butter plant at Westbury, alongside Milk Link and First Milk, as well as its acquisition of Fonterra’s 25% stake in Anchor in 2009.

An Arla insider admitted that UK production could be on the cards but stressed nothing was imminent.

“That is something that could happen in the future but we’re not saying if it will or it won’t,” he said. “As far as we’re aware, we’ve got to get Westbury up and running and it’s going to produce own-label butter. But it doesn’t take a genius to put two and two together and make four.”

A company spokeswoman added that it had signed an agreement with New Zealand-based dairy giant and key butter exporter Fonterra to supply it with bulk butter from New Zealand, and “that agreement is still in place”.

However, surging prices for butter on the global commodity markets have made markets other than the EU more attractive to New Zealand exporters, especially as butter coming into the EU also faced import levies, said Michael Bessey, dairy analyst at the Provision Trade Federation. “On the basis that Anchor will continue to be for sale in the UK, it seems possible that it will in the future consist of EU or UK origin,” he said.

Anchor is the UK’s third-biggest BSM brand, after Lurpak and Flora, and is worth £96.2m [Nielsen 22 January 2011].

Readers' comments (2)

  • Having eaten Anchor butter for at least 60 years, I am now bitterly disappointed at it's "new" flavour. It no longer has the distinctive New Zealand taste and certainly not worth purchasing any longer. I'm just hoping that New Zealand is still producing the "proper" anchor butter when I next visit.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I endorse entirely Ms. Hewston 19 Nov comment.

    Having eaten anchor butter for at least 60 years, Iam now bitterlt diappointed at its new flavour, and greasier texture.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

These comments have not been moderated.

You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment.

Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments.

If you wish to complain about a comment please use the “report this comment” facility or email groceremails@wrbm.com

Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory

Related images

  • ANCHOR-BUTTER
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comments (2)
  • Save

Grocer jobs Experts in FMCG

Redhill Recruitment Ltd Business Development Manager – Meats

Business Development Manager – Meats - Redhill Recruitment Ltd

Upto £30k Basic + Excellent OTE - Company Car- Laptop & Phone
Search jobs
Sign in

Newsletter Sign-up

Free

I wish to receive the following newsletters:

For Members

Become a Gold Member to receive these newsletters:

Become a Finance Member to receive these newsletters:

Become a member of The Grocer

DIRECTORY

The+Grocer+Directory

CLICK HERE to search for the products, services and companies you need in the definitive guide to the UK food and drink industry.

FOLLOW THE GROCER

The Grocer's commentators and opinion makers