FRANCE – French dairy cooperative, Sodiaal, has appointed former Danone and Mondelez International executive Antoine Collette as its new CEO, effective July 4.

Collette will succeed Jorge Boucas, who stepped down in February after six years at the helm to join France-based sugar co-op Tereos as its CEO.

According to the dairy cooperative, the board of directors has given Colette the mandate to build and implement the Sodiaal strategic plan, combining economic performance and environmental performance.

“The latter will aim to accelerate the agro-ecological transition of the cooperative while offering new, high-value outlets to ensure fair wages for its 16,000 farmers,” Sodiaal said.

“Collette will also be responsible for adapting industrial sites to environmental challenges and operational requirements while ensuring the safety of employees.”

Collette previously worked at Mondelez International for 11 years, where his roles included president of the Oreo maker’s biscuits business in Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.

According to his profile, Collette also led Henkel’s beauty care business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa between 2019 and last year.

Between 2000 and 2007, he worked at Danone, including as a product manager for the European business.

 “It was an honour for me to work alongside committed and value-driven farmers’ cooperatives and to contribute to Sodiaal’s transformation with the quality colleagues who make up the executive committee and all the staff of the cooperative,” Boucas said during the transition to Tereos.

Sodiaal, headquartered in Paris, has 61 sites including dairy sites, butter mills, cheese mills, and other processing and management facilities and has 12 subsidiaries and commercial offices and exports to more than 20 countries.

In 2022, the company generated a turnover of US$6bn turnover according to the company’s annual report.

Sodiaal’s portfolio includes cheese brands such as La Rustique and EntreMont, as well as milk and cream brands such as Candia, Candia Baby, and GrandLait.

In 2021, Sodiaal acquired 51% of General Mills’ controlling interest in Yoplait in exchange for full ownership of the Canadian Yoplait business and a reduced royalty rate for the Yoplait and Liberté brands in the United States and Canada.

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