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Bega Cheese
Public company
Traded as ASXBGA
Industry Dairy, Food processing
Founded 1899
Headquarters ,
Key people
Paul van Heerwaarden (CEO)
Production output
  • Decrease297,668 tonnes (2020)
  • 303,252 tonnes (2019)
  • IncreaseA$1,493,219,000 (2020)
  • A$1,419,952,000 (2019)
Operating income
  • DecreaseA$102,992,000 (2020)
  • A$104,867,000 (2019)
  • IncreaseA$31,886,000 (2020)
  • A$30,929,000 (2019)
Subsidiaries Bega Dairy & Drinks

Bega Cheese is an Australian diversified food company with manufacturing sites in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. Founded as an agricultural cooperative in the town of Bega, New South Wales by their dairy suppliers, it became a public company in 2011 when it listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. Close to half of shares publicly traded are still held by Bega's farmer-suppliers. It is currently one of the largest companies in the dairy sector in Australia, with a FY2018 base milk supply of approximately 750 million litres.

Over half of Bega Cheese's revenue (as of 2019) comes from their spreads, dairy consumer packaged goods and other grocery products, with their flagship "Bega" brand holding 15.7% of the Australian retail cheese market. Bega Cheese's other major consumer and foodservice packaged goods brands are "Vegemite", "Farmers Table", "Zoosh", "Picky Picky", "Tatura" and "Dairymont". The "Bega" branded Australia retail and foodservice cheese products are distributed by Fonterra under a long-term agreement. Just under a third of Bega Cheese's revenue (as of 2019) was from exports. The cheese products are exported to 40 countries around the world and distributed across Australia where they are available in most supermarkets and general stores.

Their other major business segments include bulk "core dairy ingredients" such as cheese, cream cheese and powdered milk (making up approximately 35% of their revenue) and "nutritional products" produced under the Bega Bionutrients brand (such as lactoferrin and milk protein concentrate), which make up around 9% of their revenue.

In September 2017, It was announced that Bega Cheese would be the sponsor for Mumbulla Foundation 2017 gala dinner.

In 2019, the company won a legal dispute with Kraft Heinz over the packaging of their peanut butter. In 2020, Kraft Heinz appealed the case to the Federal Court of Australia, but was dismissed. In 2021, the two companies had reached a confidential settlement.

In 2020, the company raised significant funds to purchase Kirin's suite of dairy products, including Dairy Farmers and Pura Milk.

Company Milestones

  • 1850s – dairying started in the Bega Valley.
  • 1899 – the Bega Co-operative Creamery Company was established by local farmers.
  • 1900 – Bega Cheese's original factory was opened.
  • 1960 – commissioned manufacturing facility for processing and packaging raw milk at Fyshwick, ACT
  • 1997 – cheese processing and packaging facility was built at Ridge Street, Bega
  • 1997 – joint venture established (now known as Capitol Chilled Foods) between Bega Cheese and Dairy Farmers (known as Australian Co-operative Foods) to process and distribute fresh milk and other chilled products in ACT and Southern NSW.
  • April 2007 – acquired a 70% shareholding in Tatura Milk Industries Limited (Tatura Milk).
  • October 2008 – purchased the assets and operations of De Cicco Industries in the Melbourne suburb of Coburg.
  • March 2009 – acquired the cheese manufacturing facility of Kraft Foods at Strathmerton in Victoria.
  • August 2011 – listed on the Australia Securities Exchange (ASX). Following the listing, Bega Cheese acquired the final 30% of Tatura Milk, which then became a wholly owned subsidiary of Bega Cheese.
  • March 2014 – commissioned a life stage nutritional canning and blending plant in Derrimut, Victoria.
  • January 2017 – acquired the Australian meals business from multinational food conglomerate Mondelez International with brands such as Vegemite, ZoOSh and Bonox, a licence for the Dairylea and Snackabouts brands, and the licence to manufacture Kraft-branded cheese and peanut butter through 2017, as well as a manufacturing site in Port Melbourne, Victoria.
  • February 2017 – sale of infant formula canning plant in Derrimut, Victoria and one spray milk powder dryer in Tatura, Victoria to US pediatric nutrition company Mead Johnson.
  • December 2017 – acquisition of Peanut Company of Australia in Kingaroy, Queensland.
  • July 2018 – purchase of Koroit milk drying and butter processing facility in Western Victoria from Saputo.
  • February 2019 – closure of the Coburg cheese manufacturing facility.
  • 2020 – Purple Hive Project by B honey
  • November 2020 – purchased Lion Dairy & Drinks from Japan's Kirin Company for $534 million.
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