NEW ZEALAND – Fonterra, a New Zealand multinational dairy cooperative, has completed the sale of its majority shares in Global Dairy Trade (GDT) to New Zealand’s Exchange (NZX), and the European Energy Exchange (EEX).

GDT is the world leader in developing and operating dairy trading platforms, and actively supports the development of efficient dairy derivative trading.

Both NZX and EEX have bagged a 33.3% stake in the GDT platform for US$35 million.

Fonterra chief financial officer Marc Rivers says the confirmation of the strategic partnership is an important milestone for Fonterra and global dairy participants.

Rivers added: “This creates opportunities for the growth of financial tools to better manage price volatility – which is something many industry participants, from farmers through to customers, are exposed to.”

Rivers commented that the move to a broader ownership structure marks the next step in the evolution of GDT, giving it a presence in prominent international dairy-producing regions, with greater participation expected at GDT events.

It is anticipated that the action platform will bring more participants and transactions, stimulating further growth of risk management contracts available on financial trading platforms.

GDT chief executive Eric Hansen said the GDT team is looking forward to working with EEX and NZX as strategic partners with strong interests in dairy and established reputations as regulated exchanges.

Hansen added the partnership is aimed to enhance GDT’s role as an “independent, neutral and transparent price discovery platform”.

Fonterra to focus more on health and well-being markets

The share transaction happened simultaneously with an announcement by Fonterra that it will focus more on the booming health, and well-being markets to boost returns for farmer shareholders.

The co-op is supplying specialized ingredients, like bioactive whey and its patented probiotic strains, to leading companies in key markets, China, the US, and South Korea.

Fonterra’s director of active living, Komal Mistry-Mehta, said the way people manage their health and wellness is being revolutionized, the trend growing more prominently due to Covid-19.

She added that consumers are rethinking what it means to age well, they are being proactive with their health and taking a holistic perspective on wellbeing.

Last year when the co-operative released its long-term strategy, it set an aspiration to grow operating profit by 40-50% from the FY21 base by 2030.

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