Successes come in threes for Blue River

The Blue River dairy factory, Nith St, Invercargill. Photo: GoogleMaps
The Blue River dairy factory, Nith St, Invercargill. Photo: GoogleMaps

In the space of one week, Blue River Dairy has had three achievements.

The company won the Crowe Horwath Primary and Primary Services Sector award, became registered with the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) and was confirmed as one of New Zealand’s fastest growing businesses.

Blue River Dairy began as a pioneering sheep milking company more than 10 years ago and has expanded into an export-focused infant nutrition business.

Gaining CFDA was a huge achievement for Blue River Dairy, with the Invercargill factory being the only one in the world manufacturing three brands of formula with each using milk from three different species; sheep, goat and cow.

Each range of Blue River Dairy formula includes three recipes — Infant Formula for 0-6 months, Follow on Formula for 6-12months and Growing up Formula for 12-36 months.

Each plant is limited to supplying a maximum of three registered brands, with each required to be significantly different.

General manager Robert Boekhout said the company was immensely proud of not only registering one but three brands.

‘‘[The] announcement represents the culmination of months of hard work by our team here as well as in China.’’

CFDA registration required the company todemonstrate it adhered to strict standards throughout the supply chain to market quality and nutritious formulations.

‘‘It has been an arduous but welcome process which now provides opportunities for continuing growth. Unlike many of our competitors, we have retained all of our brands and are in a stronger position in market as a result of these regulations,’’ Mr Boekhout said.

‘‘This announcement bodes very well for Blue River Dairy.’’

All infant formula manufacturers must register their brands and recipes with CFDA in order to import their products into China beyond January 1 next year, as the agency seeks to tighten its market controls.

The Blue River Sheep Milk infant formula range was launched in September 2015.

This was followed by the launch of its premium cow milk based Mualps range in January 2017, swiftly followed by their Spring goat range in February 2017 providing parents with more choice and launching the company on a period of rapid growth.

About the same time the company also won the Westpac Southland Business Excellence Award’s Crowe Horwath Primary and Primary Services Sector Award.

Mr Boekhout said they were thrilled with this recognitionand also being named the Fastest Growing Agribusiness and Fastest growing Exporter in the Dunedin and Lower South region.

‘‘We’re proud of the outstanding growth we haveachieved. Every baby is different and our customers have told us they wanta choice of protein source. We’ve listened and helped thousands of parents find the right formulation for their babies’ digestive and nutritional needs. We couldn’t have kept up with the growing demand, without the tremendous effort of our talented team in Invercargill or the vision and unwavering belief of our chairman Yuanrong Chen.’’

The national ranking of each business on the Fast 50 index will be revealed at Deloitte’s Festival of Growth in Auckland on November 9.

‘‘What’s really exciting is that we’re only justgetting started,’’ Mr Boekhout said.

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