Talbot Forest Cheese brand, plant purchased by Synlait

Synlait announced in September last year it had signed a conditional agreement to acquire selected Talbot Forest Cheese assets for $30 million to $40 million. Photo: Yanna Houwaard
Synlait announced in September last year it had signed a conditional agreement to acquire selected Talbot Forest Cheese assets for $30 million to $40 million. Photo: Yanna Houwaard

The Talbot Forest Cheese brand and the property, plant and equipment of the Temuka site have been purchased by Synlait.

Paul Fitzsimons and Angela Veale, of Geraldine, opened the Temuka operation just over two years ago.

The couple will continue to make specialty artisan cheeses under another label at their factory in Geraldine and continue operating the Deli shop in Geraldine. Those are not part of the sale deal.

Synlait announced in September last year it had signed a conditional agreement to acquire selected Talbot Forest Cheese assets for $30 million to $40 million.

‘‘The acquisition enables us to manufacture a variety of cheese products,’’ Synlait chief executive officer Leon Clement said.

‘‘It also helps us optimise our manufacturing assets, especially during peak seasonal flows, access new profit pools, and align with our approach to run a high-quality, flexible dairy manufacturing plant that enables us to tailor product to meet customer needs.’’

Current customer relationships would continue.

In June, Synlait appointed former Fonterra employee Andrew Bull as general manager Talbot Forest Cheese.

‘‘Paul Fitzsimons, founder of Talbot Forest Cheese, and his team have created a legacy that I feel extremely privileged to be leading,‘‘ Mr Bull said.

He said Synlait planned to produce around 5000 tonnes of cheese during the 2019-20 season.

‘‘Our highly automated plant is capable of manufacturing both dry and brine salted products, including parmesan, cheddar, gouda and mozzarella for both retail and food service customers.

‘‘We have retained the ability to make open vat cheeses, such as haloumi and feta, which are extremely popular.’’

These products, along with ingredient cheeses made to customer specifications, will be sold to local and international wholesale markets.

Synlait will announce its annual results for the financial year ending July 31, on September 12.

CHRIS.TOBIN@alliedpress.co.nz 

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