ITALY – Italian dairy company Unionplus Srl, a part of the Podini Group SpA in Bolzano, has inaugurated  its new production plant in Nogarole Rocca in the province of Verona.  

According to company CEO Stefano Podini, the new facility will play an important role in the Podini Group’s project to expand, complete, and give continuity to the offer of raw materials of functional products to the Italian food industry.  

He further noted that the new project represents his company’s courage and tenacity in business amid the enormous economic and political headwinds that have rocked the world during the pandemic period.  

According to Podini, the new facility has created around 20 new jobs in the province of Verona, where the unemployment rate has created many problems.  

Sales manager Francesco D’Apice noted that with support of the new facility, the company expects its turnover to grow by more than €30m euros in 2021. 

Francisco expects  90% of company sales will be concentrated in Italy but with an already stable customer base in six different countries, the company’s future growth is guaranteed. 

BelGioioso to acquire Polly-O 

Meanwhile, US company BelGioioso Cheese is expanding its dairy footprint with the acquisition of cheesemaker Polly-O from Kraft Heinz and Lactalis Group. 

Polly-O is a leading producer of Italian cheeses in the United States and has a heritage that dates back to 1899. The company achieved net sales of around $177 million in 2020. 

“We are thrilled to add the Polly-O brand to our portfolio and want to thank the teams at Kraft Heinz and Lactalis Group for their assistance and dedication to finalising the agreement in such a short time,” said BelGioioso Cheese’s president, Errico Auricchio.  

“I am confident this will benefit consumers thanks to healthy competition in the category as a result of this acquisition.” 

Last year, Kraft Heinz sold Polly-O to Lactalis Group for US$3.2 billion, as part of a previously announced natural cheese transaction. 

 Following an antitrust review by the US Department of Justice, Lactalis Group agreed to sell Polly-O to BelGioioso Cheese. 

BelGioioso’s purchase is subject to final approval by US regulators and the satisfaction or waiver of other customary closing conditions. 

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