New French mega co-op
Two of France’s leading agribusiness co-ops, Agrial and Eurial, have unveiled plans to merge their dairy activities, creating the country’s second largest dairy co-op. The merged group, which will take the Eurial name, would also be France’s sixth biggest dairy company, behind Lactalis, Sodiaal, Bongrain, Danone and Fromageries Bel. Combined turnover of the group, to be based in Nantes, would be €1.82 billion, with a milk intake of around 2bn litres from 5 200 milk producers. France’s top dairy co-op, Sodiaal, has an annual turnover of €4.4bn, while the third largest, Laïta, has sales of €1.159bn. There will be no closure of the two co-op’s 19 processing plants, which employ 3 600, as it has been agreed that their activities are complementary.